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Reuse, repair, recycle

On Sun 13th October 2013, 15:24 Jonathansays:

I read an interesting article on the BBC website some time ago that discussed the throw away society will live in and how often something that's "broken" is easily (and cheaply) fixed.

There was a movement in London that aimed to repair or rejuvenate old equipment. People could bring along their faulty goods which would be opened up by volunteers with some experience in fixing things. If a fix could be applied then and there it was, otherwise people could come to the next meeting with any parts.

I've never liked throwing something away because it looked broken. When I was in secondary school I'd patch up a simple cardboard folder for ages, until it really was dead, before replacing it. As a network manager with a minuscule budget I used to hang on to components from failed goods, ready to fix or upgrade the next one that came along (a lot of laptops would come in for a software install and go away with a RAM upgrade, all done from spare parts).

I do the same a home too. I spent yesterday morning using a laptop someone had decided they didn't want me to fix (broken screen) and told me to throw it away. Aside from having a bit of a slow processor, dead battery and the broken screen, there was nothing wrong with the unit. A replacement screen (ebay), bigger harddisk and some RAM I had lying about and the unit performs well. I'll need to buy a battery somewhen but otherwise it's a good unit.

So what am I driving at? We really need to get out of the habbit of just throwing things away. Given people want to save money it seems even more ridiculous that it's "bin & replace" rather than "time + cheap parts = working again". Even when we don't want something anymore it can be re-homed (find a friend or a charity shop).

Not everything can be patched up & sorted but surely it's worth a check?