Monday, 24 August 2015

ERE17-Repairs

The most sustainably and financially beneficial thing to do is to maintain and repair the items that you already own.
Ownership implies responsibility: You were responsible for digging raw resources out of the ground and now you’re responsible for getting the maximum use out of the object, so there …

There are two things you need to do:

- Learn how to maintain and repair everything you own.
Start with your clothes, your shoes and your bike.
Collect your sewing-kit and your tool-box. Learn how to mend your clothes and darn your socks. Learn how to polish your shoes. Maintain your bike, pump the wheels, tighten all screws. At least look at all the things that are worn or torn on your bike. Lean how it works. Take a wheel off, at least the one that does not have gears attached to it. Learn how to take the tyre off and to repair a flat one. At least look at how the repair shop does it. Ask questions. Then do the same thing with your car, if you have one. A car is a huge investment so care for it as much as you would do your other investments. Then move on to your house or apartment (even if you rent, you will be responsible for the inside of the apartment. Check the conditions of your lease and do a little at the time, instead of the week you move out or when you risk your deposit.)

- Look thoroughly at each item that you are about to buy.
Make sure you know if the item can be repaired.
Ask if the item is repairable and for instructions on how to repair it when you buy it.
Does electronics have screws that you can see and are the screws shaped so that you can open them with a tool you already have? Ask the shop to tell you how to repair it, to change the batteries and how to keep it clean. If you can not change the batteries (Fcuk you Apple I-Pad for not having replaceable batteries!), really think long and hard about the purchase. (You know it will be a use-and-throw item, even if battery power is developing it is still the primary function that will run out and make the item useless.)
Look at the washing label for all clothes you think of buying. All cotton should be able to wash at 60°C (even if you only use 40°C). If the piece of clothing is dry clean only but the fabric used is not, you may want to buy your clothes from a manufacturer who knows what they are doing. At least read the instructions in all the clothes you currently own and learn to understand them.
Think about the shoes you are about to buy. Can the soles be replaced if worn? Is the surface washable or polish-able?
What do the instructions say about maintenance? Nothing? Well, then you know what the manufacturer think about their own products durability!

Do you have durable furniture or are you buying to use and throw? Nothing wrong with that short term ownership if that was your intention. Make sure you do not pay long-term money for short-term use. Cheap should be cheap also in money! Second hand furniture has rarely started in a flat-pack for the simple reason that most of it does not survive a few years. Older furniture can be painted, polished and sometimes even comes for free.

If you need to buy something new, it usually means that you broke something that you own - as surely, you already have everything you need?

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