4 Reasons to Repair Instead of Recycling or Replacing
It's time to jump off the consumption train and embrace the art of repair.
Mending, darning, patching, painting, rewiring, gluing – we used to be a people of repair, of resourcefulness, of taking pride in our ability to tinker and the longevity of our things. Nowadays? Not so much. We may try to recycle, but that's an
imperfect science at best
; most of all, we just toss and replace.
Part of our disposable culture is borne from the concept of planned obsolescence, part of it a result of over-busy lives. There's also a cultural component at play. We no longer have to show our patriotism by shunning wastefulness; now, shiny and new is in, patched and mended is out. Meanwhile, home economics and shop classes are no longer a part of most high-school curriculums – and while those were admittedly gender-skewed, imagine how great it would be if all kids these days had a full semester of both?
Anyway, the point is that we are no longer invested in repairing things, and that is a shame. We don't have the resources to keep making everything new forever, nor does the planet have the room to keep throwing all the old stuff away.
So let's make repair sexy. There is definitely a growing repair movement, and there is even legislation in many places working to guarantee
the right to repair
. The folks at
created a Repair Manifesto that we
shared years ago,
but I love it and thought the updated version was worth sharing. In particular, the four highlighted benefits of repair are really pretty undeniable.
1. REPAIR is better than recycling 2. REPAIR saves you money 3. REPAIR teaches engineering 4. REPAIR saves the planet
And the whole infographic-cum-manifesto:
There are so many ways to bring repair into the modern world. There are classes and workshops, repair cafes and
pop-up repair events. There is swapping your mending talents with a friend's phone repair talents; there are books, there is YouTube! Where there is a will to repair, there is a way to repair ... and the repair revolution is just getting started. Again.
Bio: Editorial Director, Hunter College, F.I.T., State University of New York, Cornell University - Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert & author whose work has been published by the New York Times & National Geographic, among others.