Repair, don't replace

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Nice idea, I know, but presently very difficult to do indeed and this is where our waste problem stems from.

Not so long ago – it was still in my lifetime – (almost) everything was made in such a way that it could be repaired. The throwaway society had not arrived as yet. It was, however, beginning to do so when I was in my early to mid teens, initially with the throwaway beer and soda bottle, then still glass.

Our current way of doing things is, simply, not sustainable. And, while continuously having to buy new, as the old cannot be repaired, may grow the economy and fill the pocket of the corporations we must consider that the Planet, our Earth, is finite. It cannot grow any bigger and most of the resources used in the making of all those goods and products that we consume at such an enormous rate also do not regrow. They too are finite and when they are gone they are gone.

Industry and most people do not seem to consider this fact and truth at all and way too many people simply reply when it is mentioned that industry and our governments will find an answer so that they can carry on living with ever more. There is no answer to non-renewable resources having gone. When they are they are; period! And the sooner we all realize that the better and we may still have time to adapt and change our ways.

Changing our ways in this instance means that we must demand that products and goods are made in such a ways that they can be fixed by users and/or small repair shops on the high street. That's how things once were and still the economy was doping fine, in general, thank you very much.

Most of our current way has little to nothing to do with growing the economy but everything with growing the profits of scrupulous corporations, and repairability, as it used to be, will cut down on their profits and the dividends of their shareholders. This is what it is really all about.

If we had repairability of everything – or almost everything – again and made products indeed in such a way that they could be fixed by the user (at home) or in small workshops on the high street the economy would be much better and the waste problem would also be solved to a great extent.

But industry and the powers that be are not interested in this solution, as we can see time and again. All they do it pay lip service and give great talks as to waste reduction and all that. They are, however, not interested to make any real changes and we can see that also in the perpetual talk about “recycling” while forgetting to encourage, and even teach, people to reuse.

© 2012