When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? The existing product works okay for its primary use case so I don't want to throw it away or recycle it and then spend the resources to produce the new item, but I do want the benefits form the new item. I am interested in a decision tree or flowchart or sorts to help you decide when to replace items in a general sense. What kind of conditions should I check?

For example I have a plastic container for holding food and for health reasons I want to switch to a glass/metal container. Or I have a functioning desk, but for health reasons I want to replace it with a standing desk. Or if I have power supply in my desktop computer and I want to replace it with an energy efficient version. Is there a generic set of attributes I should look at to help decide if the benefits of buying a new item out way the environmental costs of getting rid of the old item and acquiring a newly produced one?

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    Welcome to Sustainability.SE! It sounds like what you're interested in is a sort of decision tree or flowchart to help you decide when to replace items in a general sense. If so, I'd add that clarification to your question. Otherwise, you may want to ask separate questions for each item (food container, desk, etc).
    – LShaver
    Feb 15, 2018 at 23:30
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    Great questions in there, but it's too broad a question to try to answer all those things at once. I've voting to close this in it's current form, but I'd love to see you ask those questions separately. Feb 16, 2018 at 1:03
  • You would need to calculate the impacts of a product based on a life cycle analysis and compare that with the impacts of the alternative/new product. This is not an easy task; it needs to be done by a skilled LCA practitioner and even then can the results be difficult to interpret and compare. More practically you would need to use heuristics that tell you when it's better to replace something, but heuristics differ from product to product.That's why I agree with Highly Irregular's comment that it's better to limit this question to a specific type of product.
    – THelper
    Feb 16, 2018 at 8:31
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    Two example questions we already have; What is the environmental impact of replacing a vehicle, Should I replace existing inefficient light bulbs. Perhaps some of the questions tagged 'alternative' are interesting as well.
    – THelper
    Feb 16, 2018 at 8:39
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    @THelper I think if you were to expand that a bit with some links it would provide a good answer to this question -- to help OP understand what sorts of things to consider, and how to go about making the keep/replace decision.
    – LShaver
    Feb 16, 2018 at 15:00