The fourth of July is a celebration where we burn money. Literally. We buy fireworks and other explosives and blow them up with nothing to show for it. Well, something to show for, but then it is quickly gone. In my youth, I spent several summers working selling fireworks and that industry amazes me even today. Products are sold only 2 and a half weeks a year and can bring in millions for just one owner, as Mark Lazarchic explained on a Mixergy interview. But what is more interesting to me is that our society has gotten used to paying for disposable products.
Batteries, water filters, light bulbs, razors, and even air filters are all items that need replaced on a regular basis. This past weekend, I spent around $100 replacing my water and air filters for my home. And this should be done several times a year. That is the nature of disposable products.
We do it for the perceived health benefits. Or for the convenience. But do we ever stop to think that there must be a better way?
While businesses benefit greatly from this model of selling an item that constantly needs replacement parts (such as a razor), this must be having a huge impact on our environment as most of these items aren't easily recyclable. Frankly, I'd rather see us blow up our money in celebration than to keep buying disposable products we throw into a landfill.
On this 4th of July, let us consider how to innovate disposable products so that everyone wins. And that, of course, will call for a celebration.