Sunday, June 20, 2010

Guest Post: Jesse - Repair, Reuse, Recycle

By Jesse – Repair Launch

The big R’s (repair, reuse, recycle, repurpose) have been tossed around for reasons of necessity, money, guilt and that ‘feel good’ vibe people get when they feel trendy yet responsible. Much if it is just talk, as few people come close to practicing what they preach.

Why does this happen? It is mostly laziness. Not just physically but mentally. We have been trained to want what is new and flashy. Throwing something away and buying something new may be viewed as easier, or at least a process we are all familiar with. Converging forces are beginning to change our common reality.

There is a growing awareness that reusing your old stuff is not just environmentally friendly but it also saves money. Or even better, trading in your old junk can get you some money. In particular popular items like iPhone repair have proven that broken pieces and parts don’t need to result in a permanent loss of functionality and value. The less popular the device, the less amount of information you can find online regarding DIY solutions.

Let’s backtrack a little though, back to an article by the editor around these parts, who poured his thoughts here. The point that really drove home was that you can make your waste work for you.

From pop cans to shower curtains, there are ways to get cash or more productivity out of your stuff.

The other big thing is buying quality rather than a name, buy something you have done research on and have found viable repair options for, should you have bought it. There are a variety repair services on street corners, just waiting to be found. There are many recycling centers ignored. If you start looking around, savings will follow.

Roll Back Them Prices

Saving money and getting money back does not always mean you are saving in the long run. Buying crap for $300 and then getting $50 for it 2 years later is not saving anything. Instead, it’s a really bad investment. Truly saving money is buying a quality item, getting a ton of use that leads to productivity and/or entertainment, then when something breaks, paying a little money to have it fixed and life goes as normal. Computers, phones, and video game systems should last over 5 years. Even if you feel it is outdated, someone else will find great use for it. And somebody else will make money off of it.

Follow the Money trail

An iPhone screen repair can cost under $30. A screen repair for blackberry’s and other models can cost even less. A dirty trackball, the cause a new phone buy for most, can cost even less than the screen repairs. My friend repaired an iPhone for another friend and that’s when my awareness began. It really made me consider what the heck has been happening to all of the old games, TVs and other ‘necessities’ bought for no real good reason other than instant gratification.

The upside of a planet dwindling in resources and a country spiraling in debt is that it is forcing people to remember a time when they valued their things. Because of this, along with necessity, people want to keep their broken items around longer and they want people to fix it cheap. Other self-sustainers decide they can do it themselves, which is the best way to insure something gets done if you are short on funds.

The fact is that there is a bunch of junk in this world and while there are some huge waste companies already profiting a grass roots level on many levels is forming. Electronic waste (ewaste) is the fasting growing sector for a reason: people have been buying a ton of electronics gimmicks with a 2 year life span. Those products have value to them, even when not functionable. With less than 5% of cell phones and computers disposed properly (make up over 70% of toxic waste) it is no wonder that with a little more public awareness growth potential is endless.

That is all...

1 comment:

  1. We try to buy stuff used. Obviously cars are bought used. In particular we find a lot of value in used furniture. The stuff is pretty darn durable and the first owner takes a big hit on depreciation. The comfortable recliner I am sitting in was bought gently used and almost new for $100. It sells for $500 at the store. We got an end table for $15 that cost them $60.

    As for fixing things there is definitely a cost to benefit ratio. Spend $40 to fix an otherwise newish expensive phone, sure. Spend $200 to maybe fix a $400 computer that has seen better days, probably not.