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If the specs are the same but the plugs are different, it’s fairly easy to identify this as pseudo-functional obsolescence.

Once consumers are aware of pseudo-functional obsolescence, they can buy better products from better companies.

The first goal of consumer education is simply to make consumers aware that pseudo-functional obsolescence actually exists.

Many of us know very little about how our products really work, and so it can be hard for the average consumer to tell the difference between true innovation and pseudo-functional obsolescence. Sometimes, identifying pseudo-functional obsolescence requires very specific knowledge of a product.

This is done so that in future the consumer feels a need to purchase new products and services that the manufacturer brings out as replacements for the old ones.

So, the sell-by-dates are not based upon scientific fact, but a random guess.

Dana Gunders is a Staff Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

She leads NRDC’s work on reducing food waste and is the author of a widely distributed report “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill”.

Freely adopted industry standards allow us to use an electrical appliance from decades ago in a modern home.

“Best before” and “use by” dates are intended for consumers, but they usually just estimate peak quality, again not an accurate date of spoiling or an indication that food is unsafe… Though this phrase is often credited to Barnum, it was more likely spoken by a man by the name of David Hannum, who was criticizing both Barnum and his customers.

XRPlcd L“There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase often credited to P. Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming obsolete—that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it from its conception.

Promote voluntary industry standards Voluntary industry standards are often so widely accepted that we hardly think of them as specifically chosen standards – instead it seems like it’s simply the way things are.

For example, the 110 volt household current system in the United States is a standard first promoted by Thomas Edison.

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