Repair or replace: here’s why you should ditch the “disposable” and try repairing what you have + a few reminders that will accompany you through this change!
Repair or replace? It’s a question we should ask ourselves every time we come across something broken.
In this regard, there is a quote by Annie Leonard, a well-known American activist, that I would like to recommend to you:
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When you throw something away, it must go somewhere”.
Every time you throw something away almost automatically, without even thinking about it too much, while words like “yes, I’ll throw it away, it’s not going to send the planet into crisis!” resound in your head, here, every time, try to chase away this thought and try to tell yourself instead, in a firm voice, “There is no such thing as ‘away’. When you throw something away, it must go somewhere”.
Moreover, most of the things we throw away can be fixed. A study conducted by the North London Waste Authority highlighted how, for example, in the UK, on average less than one in 10 people try to repair an item before throwing it “away”.
We’ve become too attached to disposables, so much so that we no longer give value to things; everything can be replaced with such ease and comfort, why bother or waste precious time of our days fixing an object when we could spend that time watching Reels lying in our bed?
5 Good Reasons to Repair (Instead of Replace)
Why should I fix something that is broken?
You may be wondering. Here are a few reasons:
- You can reduce your environmental impact
- You save money that you can put aside (or consider starting to invest with)
- You can find that you are good at fixing things
- If you can fix something that you had considered broken, you will feel good, motivated, and realize that you have more control than you think over the things around you
- If you have children or younger brothers or sisters, you can turn it into a game and take advantage of it to spend time with them and teach them new things
Another phrase that I often use as a kind of personal reminder is attributed to Frans van Houten, CEO of the Dutch company Royal Philips Electronics, “Waste does not exist in nature because ecosystems reuse everything that grows in a never-ending cycle of efficiency and purpose”.
Waste, disposability, preferring to throw something away rather than trying to fix or reinvent it are not concepts in line with nature.
Nature is circular: everything is part of an eternal cycle and we are part of it.
That’s why we should respect it and embrace its “cyrcular way of life”. We should take our Earth as an example to improve our relationship with it and achieve greater harmony.
You are wrong if you think “yes, I’ll throw it away, it’s not going to send the planet into crisis!”. It is a mistake because if you adopt this mentality, you lower your importance. We are crumbs compared to the Earth and we are even smaller entities compared to the Universe, but the actions of every single one of us have a very important impact.
Lao Zi, the father of Chinese Toaism (a philosophical current that has a lot to teach to the 21st century men) used to tell his disciples:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single, small step”.
Author: Melissa Borroni
Cover Image: Photo via Canva PRO