We live in an increasingly wasteful society. A society that’s been conditioned to throw away the old and bring on the new with unthinking zeal. While there’s no doubt that a good clear out can be healthy for the mind and the household, sometimes we can be too quick to dispose of household items that could be made good as new with a little tender loving care (or an expert hand). Sure, as a reviews blog there’s an emphasis on new products here but as any responsible parent knows, there’s value in saving money by repairing instead of replacing, both for the good of your household appliances and the environment. Anything we can do to prevent the landfill epidemics across the world can only be a good thing, right?
Here are some everyday products that you should consider repairing before you throw them away.
Jewelry and watches
It’s astonishing how many people discard or pawn valuable jewelry when it breaks. Why accept significantly under market value at a pawn shop when you can invest an average of $25-$200 on a repair that will keep your legacy jewelry looking beautiful and retaining its value for decades to come.
American families throw away so many shoes it’s starting to seriously impact the environment. We throw away roughly 300 million pairs of shoes a year, and the material most commonly used for midsoles (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) can last for over 1,000 years in a landfill. Moreover, finding a good shoemaker to repair and mend shoes can make serious household savings. Shoes can be refurbished with new insoles, stretched to better fit your feet and even dyed a new color. Scuffed leather can be repaired and worn heels can be replaced. In fact, a pair of good quality shoes can last you for over 20 years.
Washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, and stoves can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace. Most of us are quick to contact our manufacturer to get someone to repair under warranty items but even when your warranty has expired, you can make significant savings by calling a sub zero repair service to fix the fridge or a gas engineer to fix your oven. Repairs are very often a matter of fixing or replacing a small part and junking the whole appliance can often mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. A $200-$300 repair on a broken washing machine gasket makes a whole lot more sense than spending up to $1000 on a replacement.
In an age where so many of us buy our furniture cheap and disposable from the likes of Ikea or Target, it’s natural to assume that throwing out chairs with wobbly legs or sofas with torn upholstery is the only way. Good quality furniture, however, can easily be repaired with a little know-how. Sofas can be reupholstered and sagging springs can be tightened extremely cheaply so long as you don’t mind investing a little time and effort in the repair.
So the next time something breaks at home, make sure you consider the environment and your budget and see if you can repair without replacing.