This bugs the heck out of me. I consider myself to be pro-environment. I recycle everything I can. I turn all the lights off whenever the sun is shining. My AC is set at 80 during the day and 78 at night.
On the other hand, I am not made of money. I can’t buy solar panels (man I wish after the summer Texas had). I can’t afford a wind turbine or an electric vehicle.
I do what I can, but sometimes, you just have to accept that we live in a disposable society. Case in point…
We bought new home phones when we moved three years ago. We hadn’t had a home phone in the preceding 5 years, but with us being away from the majority of the family, it was cheaper to have a free long distance land line than try to keep under 700 minutes on the cell phones.
Now, after several years, the batteries on those rechargeable handsets have died. [Yes, there are many valid reasons we needed portable handsets, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten them.] In a one hour meeting while working from home, I have to switch phones two or three times because the batteries can’t hold a decent charge.
OK, so I go to look for batteries. The phones are perfectly serviceable.
Unbelievable. New batteries (which are essentially AAA ni-cads in shrinkwrap) $23 a piece plus shipping. Locally, I couldn’t find the right size at all, but the nearest equivalent at Radio Shack was $25. I needed three battery packs.
While at Radio Shack, preparing myself for another unplanned expense, I turned around and there were the actual phones. Three new handsets, including rechargers, batteries, and base station… $43. I checked on my store of choice, Amazon, and found a two handset phone set (base station, batteries, 2 handsets, and charger) for $29.
Now, again, I’m all about the environment, but I just cannot justify spending $75 when I could spend $32.
Fortunately, I live in an area with a good electronics recycling program.
I’ve noticed that even businesses consider customers to be disposable. Just try to talk to your telecommunications provider about getting a discount that they offer to new customers. I’ll bet you anything you won’t get it. So customers bounce back and forth between cell phone providers every two years.