Green EnLIGHTenment- Ambitious entrepreneurs fight in the economic revolution of the 21st century

Enough about bad news, depressing topics and E-waste. My first two blog posts were just the beginning:Draw your attention on a topic, which is most of the time ignored by consumers and hidden by business men and women-planned obsolescence

But as always in history, there comes the point when people have to make a change, rethink old standards and reconstruct old products, its time for revolution!

There is a change.

Together with his partner Frans Otten, Warner Philips founded Lemnis Lighting, a subsidiary of Tendris Holding. A green StartUp company with the following philosophy:

Transition from current wasteful lighting solutions towards energy efficient alternatives without making concessions on customer needs

They produce the  Pharox LED lamp which saves up to 85% of  energy compared to normal light bulbs, by having the same bright and warm light. Another clue: the Parox Solar Kit. Using the sun as energy provider, this lamp enables you to not only have up to 45 hours of light but also to charge your mobile phone, iPod or whatever with the built-in USB connection.

Watch “The world in a different light” for a detailed look on Lemnis Lights philosophy and its projects.

As future business men and women, we must rethink, rebuilt and change, old fashioned business- and production models. This is the clear message of the mother of green StartUps, Tendris Holding. Located in the Netherlands, this company supports projects and entrepreneurs with their new, sustainable business models.

United we are strong

Projects like forum for the future or the german project Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft show that Tendris Holding and Lemnis Lights wont fight alone in the economic Revolution of the 21st century.  They include Blogs like the one of Jonathon Porritt, to spread the word of new ideas and ways to make the world a little better.

Are you in the fight?


Welcome to E-Waste-Hell- Did you enjoy your products?

Hello everybody!!

This is the second chapter of my planned obsolescence report.If you missed my last blog post just click here or watch this video for a quick introduction on what planned obsolescence is all about.

What problems does planned obsolescence cause?

Living in an industrialized country means that you dont have to do a lot with your own produced waste. We feel good because we separate our waste “comme il faut” , bring our old clothes to the used clothes collection and our E-Waste? Bring it to a special recyclable fraction dump ( unfortunately most people throw their old mobile phones in the normal dump anyways)  say “hasta la vista”and bye bye and get into a line in front of the next apple store to wait for the new iphone5.

If you want to see what happens with most of the E-waste from Europe, Australia and the U.S. watch this video or click on the report of last week.

Africa- the new worlds dump?

Looking at all these pictures from Ghana it seems to be the dirty truth.

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But what do laws and governments do against this?

According to the laws manifested on the Basel Convention in 1989 it is forbidden to export hazardous waste from the euro zone without permission. So how does the waste go to Ghana if its illegal? The waste traders mark the electronic waste as 2nd hand products. Ghana has not yet published a law which forbids the import of such waste.  As stated by environmental journalist Mike Anane and head of the Environmental Protection Agency Ghana Lambert Faabeluon

80% of the waste sent to Ghana is irreparable

What can be done against this?

As a normal consumer it is hard to change something or get involved directly. Politicians of all relevant counties must work together, change laws and make people obey them. What we as future business men have to do is concentrate on sustainable production. The big amount of waste will be a future issue and we have to fight against this. The idea of planned obsolescence is old fashioned and arose from a time in which sustainability was a foreign word.

Business models like the ones of Warner Philips are the ones we should get inspired from.

Future Business men must not only think in profits, but  in how to make profits respecting natural limits and resources.

For those of you who want more information, check what Greenpeace wrote on this topic!

“Throw- away- lifestyle” – Ever heard about PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE?

Help! I just wanted to update my Keynote program on my Mac. It didn’t work because I am still using Mac OS X 10.6.8. Unfortunately the latest operating system was required. This laptop is in use for not even 2 years.


No definitely not. The Keyword is “Planned Obsolescence”.  According to Oxford Dictionaries planned obsolescence is a

policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of non-durable materials.“ 

 Referring to Cosima Dannoritzer’s documentary film “The light bulb conspiracy- the untold story of planned obsolescence” the model of planned obsolescence was already introduced in the early 20s. In order to ensure the continuous consumption of light bulbs, the biggest light bulbs producers in the world (mostly from the U.S. and Europe) founded a secret cartel called Phoebus. They limited the lifetime of light bulbs from 2500 hours to 1000 hours.  The cartel controlled the production of its member factories so that they won’t produce light bulbs which last longer than 1000 hours. But above all they controlled the consumers. By 1942 the U.S. government found out about the illegal cartel and after a 10-year process Phoebus and its actions were declared as illegal.

But did this change anything? 

After the world wide economic crisis in 1929, some economists not only saw the principle of planned obsolescence as a way to ensure the continuous consumption but also as a way to ensure employment. Defeater of this theory was Bernard London, he published 1932 his paper “Ending the Depression through Planned Obsolescence”.

The U.S.  let the crisis behind and the economy started to grow. And grow. Planned obsolescence supporter like the industry designer Dr. Boris Knuf stay that without planned obsolescence there wouldn’t be products, there wouldn’t be the industry, there wouldn’t be all the jobs which are related to this mass of products.

Does this mean that planned obsolescence is indispensable?

According to critics like Serge Latouche and John Tackara planned obsolescence will destroy our planet sooner or later. Nowadays we should know that our globe does not have unlimited resources. A world in which consumption grows every day will take revenge sooner or later. We should ask ourselves the following questions:

What happens with all the dump we produce? Who are the ones who suffer? How would a sustainable economy look like? How can we as producers fight against this phenomenon? Are there any business models which take sustainability into account? 

My next blog posts are coming soon! I will dig in deeper into this topic and try to collect answers and opinions. Just follow the Blogbusters to be updated.