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Repair & Re-use

What

Next time something in your home is not working properly, why not see if you can fix it rather than throwing it away? Repairing your belongings cuts down on carbon pollution, saves you money and gives the satisfaction of the achievement, too.

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Why

Many of us have got into the habit of throwing things away very easily. But producing new consumer goods often generates a lot of carbon pollution. Take a modern smartphone - around 85% of its entire carbon pollution comes from its manufacture, not from using it. Repairing one item won’t save the world but if it becomes a habit, it can quickly add up to make a difference.

There are other benefits too. Fixing things can be fun - an opportunity to learn new skills or develop existing ones. And you’ll finish with a sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

How

If you’re an expert at DIY you can jump right in. If not, you might want to use sites like Fixit or Instructables to research a solution. Whether you are planning to solder or sew, maybe there’s a local course or class that can give you the skills you need. If not, you can often find a specialist who can make the repair for you.

References

Carbon pollution of a modern smartphone:
Apple

Impact metric calculations:

For every item that you repair, one less item is made. This assumes that you would have bought a new item to replace it otherwise. However, by fixing it you may only be postponing buying a new item, and your fix might not last very long. So where the item has a long lifetime, we only count one year's worth of it's lifetime footprint.

For clothes, the data is based on the footprint of jeans and a polyester jacket (Ecotricity (2018), 'The carbon footprint of getting dressed').

For electrical gadgets, it’s based on the footprint of mobile phones (Lovefone blog, 'How much CO2 does it take to make a Smartphone?'), laptops (Dell (2010), 'Carbon Footprint of a Typical Business Laptop From Dell') and Desktops (Hewlett Packard (2019), 'Product carbon footprint: HP Desktop Pro G3').

Other uses an average of the above two.