How did "throw-away," "disposable" and "planned obsolescence" become part of product design and marketing? It was deliberate.
As the human population continues to grow and consumerism shows no signs of abating, the technosphere expands, causing pollution, contamination and resource depletion, further upsetting the delicate natural balance that keeps our planet habitable for humans and other life forms.
Maybe the lifestyle we've come to know as "normal" really isn't normal -- or sustainable -- after all. It may feel normal because it's all we've known, but, examined rationally in a larger context, it seems more like the fast lane to resource depletion and environmental ruin.
At this juncture in our planet's history it may be worth pausing and contemplating that the well-being of human species depends on the well-being of the biosphere. Earth has provided optimal conditions for life's evolution, but human activities are offsetting the balance.
If the warming of this planet is to be slowed -- if not halted -- it will not come about by government fiat, nor should it. Governments are reluctant to impose unpopular measures and the corporate sector will resist attempts to curtail our freedom to consume. The impetus must come from citizens.
Most people who follow these simple steps soon discover they can live on much less. They turn away from consumerism, and lead happier, more focussed lives. They stop being human doings and once again become human beings. Some even discover financial independence. Equally important, their impact on the planet is dramatically reduced. Win, win, win.
Have you noticed how often idealism gives way to a sense of entitlement to all the perks that come with political office? Some politicians take a different road. I only recently learned of Jose Mujica, a remarkable man who became president of Uruguay in 2009. Mujica receives $12,000 a month as president but donates 90 per cent of it to the poor and small businesses.