Read the full column at Science News.
Amber M. Epp (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Linda L. Price (University of Arizona, Tucson) conducted a two-year case study that tracked the origins, movements, and placement of one family's objects. "It is not necessarily the history of an object that rescues it from being discarded, but also its place in a network of other objects, practices, and spaces that determine whether and when it's replaceable," the authors write.
"Our study suggests that families should consider the downstream consequences when introducing new products or services into their homes," the authors write. "It's important for families to be conscious about which activities or objects are important to preserve, especially during times of change."