Every year, we create 2 billion tons of waste, and 99% of the things we buy don’t make it past six months. Around 1 billion mobile phones and 300 million computers are put into production annually, and 60% of these devices end up in landfills. Global e-waste has risen by 8% in the past two years as incomes rise and prices fall, contributing to a disastrous toxic legacy.
Repair is just one small part of helping solve the crisis.
Most of us also realize that we need to change our behavior when it comes to our “stuff.” And repairing instead of replacing is part of that solution as well. It also inspires personal creativity and change.
Disposability is a choice
So many of our things are made from plastic these days. They are wonder materials that don’t deserve their growing reputation as environment killers, but we’re using them in the wrong way. How come we think wood gets better with age and we fix it but not plastic?
Embrace the stuff we have
The most environmentally friendly smartphones in the world are the ones we already own. Let’s use our imaginations to keep the things we own for longer by using, loving and fixing them.
A customer in the US inherited an 1930s tripod from her grandad, a beautiful object that no longer worked because one of the telescopic legs was missing its foot. She remodeled a new foot using Sugru and sent us the video capturing the moment she realized it had worked. It’s utterly brilliant.
If it doesn’t exist, make it
A fix isn’t just about repairing broken things; it’s about rethinking the design of our stuff and making it work better for us. Some of the best fixes I’ve seen are small and smart, often done to make the lives of others easier: raising fiddly buttons on a remote control for an elderly relative or making a straw holder for somebody with Parkinson’s disease. Small fixes making a big difference to people’s lives.
Repair nurtures our curiosity
There’s so much untapped creativity in the world. Everybody has ideas for how things can work better. It’s not only designers and manufacturers that know how to improve products. Sometimes, it’s the users of things who know best.
Everyday practical problem-solving is a beautiful form of creativity and just a little subversive. The incredible feeling of having solved a problem for yourself is addictive, and that kind of creative energy can only lead to good things.
There is no doubt that fixing things encourages people to be more thoughtful and inventive. Everyday problem solving by everyday people — the creative potential is endless.
A fixed thing is a beautiful thing
A retired engineer in Ireland sent us a picture of his chicken, Snowy. It had recently lost one of its legs to a fox, and he used a bunch of materials to make her a new one. Unusual for sure but beautiful nonetheless.
The repair lifestyle
Repair sounds like a chore, but it’s actually one of the most rewarding things you can do. The transformation isn’t entirely on the object being fixed but rather on the person doing the fixing. When people repair for the first time, it’s like something inside them switches on. The result? More imaginative and confident people who quickly start looking for the next problem to solve.
But if it’s so important and fun … why don’t we all repair? What’s preventing us all from joining the fixing revolution?
Maybe we fail to fall in love with fixing because we love to shop and are drawn to all things shiny and new. Perhaps years of buying new have resulted in younger generations having a more ingrained throwaway mindset. Could it be that now most of us simply don’t have the skills or the confidence to fix our things?
The wheels are in motion. The fixing revolution is upon us. Join this important movement with one simple act: Have a go and fix something. No act of repair is too small or mundane not to count. Be part of the change and embrace your creativity.
News credit : Cnn