An early front-runner for the most baffling invention of the year award goes to Swedish energy company Vattenfall. Check out the crib pictured below, and tell us what you think it costs. If you guessed $28,885, come on down!
The reason the crib costs this insane amount of money is because it is made completely without the use of fossil fuels. None of the materials used in its fabrication required the use of coal, gas or oil, explains a press release touting this must-have item for woke new parents with endless resources. The bedding is hand-woven from Texel-island wool transported by sailboat; the wood was felled, sawn and dried using green electricity; and even the logo uses the first steel in the world made with hydrogen, which was transported by train and electric car. The objective, said Vattenfall, is to illustrate the complex challenges involved in making a fossil-fuel-free product.
Vattenfall’s Cindy Kroon explained that the crib “demonstrates the challenge for the coming years in getting these types of processes scalable and affordable. We are of course an energy company, not a furniture manufacturer, but we do want to take a broader perspective and seek cooperation to help industry and the transport sector in becoming fossil free,” said Kroon.
The press release goes on to say that “across Europe, a number of industries have already almost disappeared and crafts that have been handed down over generations are in danger of becoming history. The price of losing these skills and the time needed to create a totally green item is too high and must be brought down to ensure a better and cleaner future for the next generation.”
OK, and a 28K crib somehow is supposed to drive that agenda? I just don’t get it. I’m all for preserving artisanal crafts and fully appreciate that they should command a premium. But there’s a reason that plastics and modern manufacturing technologies have conquered the world—they put much-needed products within the financial reach of the average consumer. I think we can find some middle ground between a wasteful use of natural resources—and, as we have shown countless times in PlasticsToday, polymers are not the villain in this regard that they are made out to be—and a revival of hundred-year-old technologies.
But I do want to thank Vattenfall for contributing fodder for the first installment in our occasional WTFriday series.