Llibertat.cat. Monday, May 1st, 2017.
Solidary light bulbs.
By Teresa Sala, writer. In charge of Amber Proyect.
Translation: Loto Perrella.
Benito Muros was a tradesman who was afraid of flying. To overcome his fear he obtained a pilot’s certificate in civil aviation. In a trip to the USA with his family he travelled to California and went by the fire brigade at Livermore, where there is a light bulb burning almost without interruption since 1901. It should have been a visit of a couple of weeks, but after his family went back home, it became a stay of several months, in order to study how it was possible that a bulb would last such a long time, taking into account how short-lived are present day bulbs.
Benito Muros discovered obsolescence planned, a system to artificially limit the useful life of manufactured products. This actually started with an agreement among the different bulb manufacturers. Every year 7.000 millions are discarded, this implies a waste of natural resources and the creation of enormous rubbish dumps, mainly in the Third World, as it has been shown later in the documentary The Light Bulb Conspiracy.
This tradesman decided to manufacture, as a symbol, bulbs with the following features: a very long life, very low consumption, non polluting materials (they contain neither lead nor mercury), not harmful to health, they can be repaired and modernized, and give work to nearby workshops, fully manufactured in Catalonia, without giving up jobs to countries without work or social rights, without importing raw materials which would cause the use of petroleum, whose control is cause of wars, and working with people at risk of social exclusion.
After overcoming several obstacles, at present he is the chairman of FENISS Foudation, which grants the ISSOP certificate to companies and concerns which manufacture Without Obsolescence Planned (WOP), among them Light and Life, his latest managerial project for WOP bulbs; Prososphera, which also manufactures WOP bulbs and long-lived batteries; and even the multinational Casio, with much more durable image projectors.
As an example of solidarity with our economy and the environment, Light and Life has put for sale a bulb called Actua Vida E27, which can last 90 years without any difficulty. It consumes 90% less than incandescent lamps, 72% less than fluorescent lamps, and 20% less than the remaining LED lamps. They have produced the first 15 bulbs, which have been submitted to several stress tests and they go on giving light the same as on the first day. The benefits thereof will go to organizations such as Amber Project and Càritas which invest in solidary projects in Africa and the Spanish state, while they demand that June 18th be appointed as World Day without Planned Obsolescence, as it is the anniversary of the Livermore hundred-year-old lamp.
Link to the original Catalan article:
The Light Bulb Conspiracy. Extended Version.