repair or replace

Is it more eco-friendly to repair or replace things?

We live in a throw away society. When something is broken, we throw it away and go get a new one. There are lots of reasons for this, from legislation that makes it illegal to repair certain objects, to warranties that expire the second you crack it open for a look. Most appliances are also designed to break after a few years in a tactic called, “Planned Obsolescence.”

While there are some things you can’t repair, there are many things that could easily be fixed instead of sent to the junkyard. If the item you are repairing is a pair of pants with a loose button or a shirt with a rip, repairing it is the way to go.

Repair can also make your appliances last longer, but it isn’t always the best choice for the environment. It depends on whether you use clean energy or not, and how old the appliance is. If your house is powered by clean energy sources, repair will keep it out of landfill, and reduce your carbon footprint.

If however, your house uses dirty energy and your appliance is outdated, it may be better for the environment in the long run to replace it with an energy efficient appliance, and have the old appliance recycled.

Top considerations for repairing

When trying to decide whether to repair or replace an object, here is what you should consider:

  • Does it run on fossil fuels or dirty energy? (If not, repair is the way to go.)
  • Do I need this? (You may not have to replace it at all if you seldom use it.)
  • How old is it? (If it’s more than a few years old, newer models are likely more energy efficient)
  • Is there a more energy efficient model available?
  • How much will it cost to repair it?

These questions can help you to decide whether to repair things or replace them, and they are important to ask. If you repair even one item when you would normally throw it out, it will help slow climate change. Making your things last longer will help you save money, and save the planet at the same time.

Do you still really want a new appliance or other item? Have your old one repaired and then gifting it to others can help you be more green. As an added bonus, it will also let you do a good deed at the same time.

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