Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Rewards of Repair

Today my vacuum came home.  My poor purple Dyson was the victim of my mom's constant meddling which caused the whole brush and belt to be ruined.  My first instinct was to run out and buy a new one because life without a vacuum here between dog and boys is unimaginable.  

But then I remembered seeing a sign for a store nearby (well, relatively nearby given our location) called VacWorld.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a website and learn that they could probably help us for much less then the cost of a new vacuum.  

With the return of my vacuum in like-new condition, it occurs to me that repair is way underrated.  We live in a society where we are easily distracted and indebted to shiny new things.  But shiny new things aren't always best for us and the environment.  So slowly step away from the credit cards and consider some of the rewards of repair:
  • Support local business.  VacWorld is a little family business that has been in operation for over 35 years.  By taking my repair work there, I support the local economy.  Which is a whole other green conversation in and of itself.
  • Maintain a sense of history.  Ok, my Dyson and I don't have treasure trove of valuable memories behind us (yet), but many items you own might.  By having your furniture, clocks, jewelry, artwork, etc...repaired instead of replaced, you preserve and add to the story of that item.  Stories, like repair, are far too underrated these days.
  • Save $.  My vacuum repair certainly wasn't free, but as I mentioned, it did cost far less then a new vacuum would have.  In most cases, getting something repaired will be as efficient and far more cost effective then buying new.
  • Preserve the Earth.  Of course.  Every new item made means more resources used (or wasted if it could be repaired) and more trash headed to landfills.  
What have you had repaired?  Any great stories about saving the story of an item?


gerry tregerman said...

I inherited my Mother's old Hoover vac that she purchased in the 1950's. I kept it going, with a tune up every few years or so, until about 5 years ago.
Newer appliances, stoves etc are not built to last like ones from 10 + years ago. They're built to self destruct in 8 years. Why? I really don't like that.
I understand that newer technology is more eco friendly, but what about the pile of broken and discarded metal appliances that wind up in a pile in Asia somewhere?

Willo said...

Gerry that is a great story! I am a firm believer that if you can buy used, do it. It doesn't matter what a new item is made out of, it still took energy to create and will put something in a landfill to replace.