Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Repair (9)

Don’t buy new, fix the old: The repair business is booming

CBC News / Dianne Buckner / 03 March 2020

The Repair Café holds monthly gatherings, where not only small appliances and other household goods get fixed, but also clothing that needs patches or mending.

When the Repair Café started seven years ago in Canada, there was only one chapter, in Calgary. Now Cheng says there are 47 similar Café organizations in cities across the country providing the same type of services — free. More are coming; Cheng says she’s been getting calls from community groups who want help to set up their own, local repair group.

The cost of replacement has always been a motivation to have things repaired, but nowadays Cheng says climate and waste concerns are driving a surge in interest, particularly with young people.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The repair cafes waging war on throwaway culture

The Guardian / Kate Lyons / 15 March 2018

A vacuum cleaner, a hair straightener, a laptop, Christmas lights, an e-reader, a blender, a kettle, two bags, a pair of jeans, a remote-control helicopter, a spoon, a dining-room chair, a lamp and hair clippers. All broken.

It sounds like a pile of things that you’d stick in boxes and take to the tip. In fact, it’s a list of things mended in a single afternoon by British volunteers determined to get people to stop throwing stuff away.

This is the Reading Repair Cafe, part of a burgeoning international network aimed at confronting a world of stuff, of white goods littering dumps in west Africa and trash swilling through the oceans in huge gyres.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The spread of repair cafés

Transition US / Steve McAllister

In the midst of America’s Great Depression, merchants and manufacturers were looking for ways to quickly reboot the national economy. To get more people working and factories operating again, so the story goes, two main things needed to happen:

First, people had to replace what that they already owned. Through a process that real estate broker Bernard London called “planned obsolescence,” products began to be designed so they would soon fail. Second, the American people, and eventually the rest of the world, would need to shift from being the thrifty citizens that were so celebrated towards the end of World War I to the voracious consumers we are today.

While this extreme wastefulness was once seen as our civic duty, there is now a growing movement of people throughout the United States and all over the world who are finding better ways to strengthen their local economies while helping to heal the planet. One of the most exciting new strategies for doing this is a repair cafe.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

To cure affluenza, let’s be satisfied with stuff we already own

The Guardian / Richard Denniss / 29 October 2017

Our embrace of “convenience” and our acceptance of our inability to plan ahead is an entirely new way of thinking, and over the past seventy years we have built a new and different economic system to accommodate it.

There is nothing inevitable about this current way of thinking, consuming and producing. On the contrary, the vast majority of humans who have ever lived (and the majority of humans alive today) would find the idea of using our scarce resources to produce things that are designed to be thrown away absolutely mad.

But the fact that our consumer culture is a recent innovation does not mean it will be easy to change. Indeed, the last few decades have shown how contagious affluenza can be. But we have not always lived this way, which proves that we don’t have to persist with it. We can change – if we want to.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

10 ideas to save money as a homesteader

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Poindexter, Morning Chores / 14 December 2016

Homestead living is a unique lifestyle that many embrace. There is a great deal of work that goes into being frugal, though. Both you and your property must change to accommodate your lifestyle. As one who practices the self-sufficient, fulfilling way of life, I have a few tips that can help you in your journey. Here are some frugal living tips that you can do to save yourself money and help you become less dependent on others.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Is recycling worth it?

Mother Earth News / Joanna Poncavage / February/March 2015

recycling-centerSo, is recycling worth it? In short, yes. But, to keep it effective, the way we think about waste must shift away from mindless consumption. Even as we’re recycling more, we’re creating more garbage — 4.38 pounds per person per day in 2012, up 63 percent from 2.68 pounds in 1960. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the total amount of garbage for the same period increased by 183 percent, from 88.1 million tons in 1960 to 251 million tons in 2012.

To cut back on most materials, adopt a BYOC mentality: Bring Your Own Containers, such as cloth sacks or glass jars, to grocery stores for transporting produce, bulk foods, and meats and cheeses from the deli counter. Take containers to restaurants for carting home leftovers. Purchase reusable drink canisters. Try your hand at making your own condiments, body care concoctions and cleaning products. Read on to find extra reduction tips for when you can’t cut consumption.

When you do recycle, keep in mind that some substances are more worthwhile to recycle than others, depending on the energy required to extract the raw material, and the environmental footprint the substance leaves behind. Following is a list of materials, information about the worth of recycling each one, and tips for how to follow the Three R’s in the right order: reduce, reuse, and, finally, recycle.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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