March 17, 2014

Repair or Replace?

It's a tricky question in our disposable consumer society, to repair or replace something once it's damaged. With "planned obsolescence" built into everything from electronic gadgets and computer software to appliances and cookware to clothing and furniture, it's often cheaper - much cheaper - to replace something rather than repair it. 

Just think for a moment what our world would look like if we stopped endlessly purchasing new stuff and instead took care of what we already have. Manufacturing would shrink and pollution would go down. Would skilled labor to repair our stuff replace the jobs lost in manufacturing our stuff? Would our values as a society shift from the consumer driven race to have the biggest and newest to something else? What would it be instead?

Perhaps a little heavy, but this is what goes through my mind as I try to find someone who can fix my vacuum cleaner. The on/off switch doesn't work and, of course, it is stuck in the off position. If we could figure out how to take the thing apart without breaking it, we could probably rewire it to work. But it's a mystery how to access the wiring. So. I found a place not too far away that will fix it for $22 including parts and labor as opposed to $150+ for a new hoover plus the mostly molded plastic waste of the broken one. Now, the only question I have is if it will be fixed before my house guest arrives Thursday...  Roya, you don't mind a little dirt, do you?

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