Don’t toss it – repair it

Don’t toss it – repair it

We live in a throwaway society. Unfortunately, one of our gadgets is broken and we consider whether it is worth to have it repaired. We quickly decide that a repair is more expensive than buying a new device.  And certainly the item ends up in the waste.  Often enough in household waste, although it is actually e-waste.  Admittedly for many repairs you need a certain expert knowledge and appropriate tools.

One solution for non-amateur crafters: why not ask your friends or neighbours.  And in return offer your expertise.  Sure you can find a bulletin board somewhere in your vicinity, e.g. in the supermarket.

Repair Café

Another positive trend are Repair-Cafés, originally from Holland – initiated by Martine Postma in 2007.  Usually they are organized by local economic agents, volunteers and repair experts; you can bring your defective items to fix them and – most of all – together with the experts.  You receive valuable tips and instructions for making it yourself.

The particular benefit of this project

  • waste prevention
  • environmental protection
  • sustainablility
  • learning
  • knowledge preservation
  • contacts
  • appreciation

The required tools and materials for the repair of furniture, appliances, clothing, toys and bicycles are largely available, e. g. carpentry tools, tools for electrical appliances, sewing accessories.  Having coffee, tea and cake you can now screw, solder, cut, sew.  You may also find interesting books about repair and home improvement on a reading table.  The chance of success is actually the greatest when you bring all the cables, accessory and operating instructions.

Locations

There are now Repair-Cafés in 15 countries worldwide, e. g. the Netherlands, Germany, France, USA, Australia.  Here you will find a list of cafés near you.  By the way, if you want to open your own Repair-Café, you receive a lot of support and information – and all at a very reasonable price.

What do you prefer? Repair it or toss it? Please tell me your experiences?

Slow Living and Technology/Mobility

Slow Living and Technology/Mobility

Let’s face it:  the word deceleration is somehow suspicious for us (shortly I will explain why) and the more accurate word slowdown, we preferably tend to use even less.

Deceleration, which is slightly less acceleration, still a fast pace, but with the concession of a slower pace growth.  The word is a discomfort causing tribute to the dictates of “higher, faster, further, bigger”.  Anyone who questions growth, increase as value, will be marginalised quickly.  That is why we have difficulties talking about the word slowdown, because it rather represents the desire to use the brake as a slight lift of the accelerator pedal.

In the category technology and mobility, it will be necessary to put the cards on the table when it comes to Slow in Slow Living.  Where does pace play a role, if not there?

Are you extra technophilic ? I suspect your attitude will change during the intense preoccupation with Slow Living in technology and mobility.  At present, Slow Living does not mean “as slowly as possible” but “adapted speed”.  So adapted that specific operations may run at a frenetic pace, if they are inevitable and their temporal extent would jam the remaining interests.  In this sense, a fast movement and the use of technology may turn out to be productive as long as they do not contradict the other purposes of Slow Living, like sustainability and social responsibility.

In everyday life the maxim “the path is the goal” may not always be practical, which quickly becomes clear in an inner-city traffic jam.  Efficient locomotion in the present, the difference between vacation and travel, a moderate use of technology … a huge variety of reports and contributions is recognizable on these topics, a diversity that could make us dizzy.

But, fortunately, we have jointly dedicated ourselves to always choose a good pace …