Consumer Sustainability Thinking: Making Stuff Last - By Andrea Learned

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Consumer Sustainability Thinking: Making Stuff Last - By Andrea Learned

Andrea is a Writer and Consultant on gender, human behavior & sustainability. LearnedOn.com & Huffington Post contributor.
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The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these bloggers offer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.

Thursday, March 3, 2011 - 8:23am

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In the category of sustainability “hidden in plain sight,” I spy another example.  According to a New York Times article by Matt Richtel, consumers are found to be holding onto – get this – even their cellphones and TVs(!) a little longer these days.

Do pigs now fly?

Not the last time I checked, but the numbers mentioned in Richtel’s piece are intriguing:

But in some important categories there are indications of slowed upgrades. Consumers are holding onto new cars for a record 63.9 months, up 4.5 months from a year ago and 14 percent since the end of 2008, according to Polk, a research firm. In fact, the firm said, when used cars are included, the average length of car ownership stands at 52.2 months, also a record.

Industry analysts also report that people on average upgrade their cellphones every 18 months, up from every 16 months just a few years ago. They hold onto their laptops an average of 4 years and 4 months, a month longer than they did a year ago, though that figure has been creeping up since 2000.

Could it be that the enduring economic downturn has been helpful in changing consumer attitudes – and possibly behavior – with regard to longer product use, including repairs, before things gets tossed? 

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Keywords: 3bl Media | Business & Trade | Andrea Learned | Communciations | Gender Equality | Sustainability | Sustainable Business | Sustainable Trade | Womens Issues | career | equality

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