This video describes the method of marketing and production design that many companies use to drive sales by purposely making items that are meant to break or go "out of style" frequently Some companies also make it very difficult to fix their products as well.
Examples of planned obsolescence in the video are light bulbs, smartphones, other electronic devices, clothing, and vehicles.
This video connects planned obsolescence with increasing consumerism and environmental degradation.
There are commercials before and during the video.
The last minute of the video is an ad.
Economics and social studies classes could discuss the social and economic impacts of planned obsolescence, particularly on low-income communities.
Science classes could connect this video to lessons about the increasing amount of wild spaces that are being mined, logged, fragmented, or polluted that result in a loss of ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity.
Other resources on this topic include this interactive data resource about the drivers of climate change, this table of solutions to climate change, and this video about the impacts of environmental degradation on biodiversity.
This 11-minute video presents the concepts of planned and perceived obsolescence primarily through the example of Apple iPhones. This resource touches on climate change and sustainability briefly but focuses primarily on business practices, economic systems, and social, industrial, and political systems. Citations are provided in small text on the bottom right corner of the screen, which need to be looked up from a list of resources linked in the video description. Although this takes additional effort to follow citations, this resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Economics
D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
D2.Eco.2.6-8 Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to current economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.
D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.