We live in the age of hyper-consumerism. Companies are desperate to convert as much raw material as possible into anything that can be purchased. The machine has been perfected to the point where even leftover byproducts from any production cycle can be fed back into another production line to manufacture something somebody would buy. Sometimes this includes using unhealthy materials, both for us and for the environment. But it doesn’t matter as long as it turns a profit. The machine has to keep producing something, anything, just please, buy it. This is wrecking our ecosystem and is woefully unsustainable.
Awareness regarding the bleak future we might be creating for ourselves after drowning our planet in toxic trash is increasing. However, most people still buy products built to last a very short time because there are no alternatives. And even when certain products could last longer, companies have gotten very good at fooling their followers that fashion doesn’t apply only to clothes, but to everything else as well. Now-a-days, many people willingly throw away perfectly operational devices just to jump on the latest model.
But a new economic model is becoming increasingly popular – the monthly payment for a certain service, sometimes metered based on how much a person has used the service. At the moment, this is particularly successful in the digital space (media streaming, software, data and bandwidth, games). Let’s see what a generalized version of this system could mean to our economy and ecosystem in the coming decades. I call it “anything as a service”. The term is already used for software, but in this case, it is truly anything.