Why should I repair instead of replace something?

Repairing is an essential way to reduce your waste. In the throwaway culture we live in, it’s very common for us to feel immediately drawn to throwing an item away as soon as it’s broken or malfunctioning. By repairing your broken items, you’re able to eliminate waste in 2 ways: you’re not throwing your item into a landfill, and then you’re also not going to purchase a brand new item (and accumulate the waste that goes along with purchasing brand new).

Think to ‘fix it first’ before throwing something away in the trash. Much of the time it can be an easy repair like sewing a hole in t-shirt or gluing a broken spoon dish back together. And for more complicated repairs, there are tons of professionals out there you can hire to help.

Repair it yourself

Very often when items break, repairs can be super easy for you to do at home with a sewing needle or a little glue. Next time something breaks, see if you can come up with a solution on your own. If you’re not sure, you can always ask a handy friend or your local hardware store for ideas. There are also tons of DIY videos on YouTube for almost every type of repair, so you’re bound to find some answers. But if the repair may be too complicated or not worth your while, it’s also great to consider giving it away to someone who can, rather than sending it to a landfill.

Here are 7 ways to be more sustainable with repairing items:

  • Fix small household items, such as lamps, housewares, and small electronics, instead of buying new ones.
  • Learn basic repair skills, such as sewing, fixing electronics, or carpentry
  • Support repair businesses and local repair cafes
  • Donate or sell gently used items instead of throwing them away
  • Buy durable, well-made products that are designed to be repaired
  • Use environmentally-friendly repair materials, such as biodegradable glue or non-toxic paint
  • Upcycle old items into something new, such as turning a t-shirt into a tote bag, or give a makeover to an old piece of furniture

Get it repaired

If you can’t repair something yourself, it’s always worth it to do a little research about getting a professional to fix your item before resorting to buying a replacement. Especially when it’s a high-quality or pricey item like expensive clothing, artwork, or an appliance, you can seek out a professional to get an estimate and make a decision if it’s worth repairing. Much of the time, repairing the item can be much more affordable than purchasing a completely new one, not to mention how much waste you’ll be reducing!

Here in Pound Ridge, we are lucky to have our very own Repair Cafe, courtesy of the Town of Pound Ridge Conservation Board. At the event, you can bring any household item in need of repair, and one of the repair coaches (your neighbors!) will help guide you to repair your item, all for free. This is a great way to learn about repairs within your own community.

Pound Ridge Repair Cafe

The Pound Ridge Repair Cafe is every Fall and Spring at Conant Hall in Pound Ridge. Over 50 visitors take advantage of having their household items repaired and brought back to life at no charge. From old projectors to lots and lots of lamps, our volunteer coaches also enthusiastically sharpened knives, repaired clothing and jewelry, computers, and bicycles. So collect your broken items and don’t’ miss the next Repair Cafe!

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