Fewer people are learning the skills to repair the things they own

Set of tools on a plank

This Tweet thread from BriannaWu got me thinking about what more we can do.

The irony is that even as society has become more technologically dependent, fewer and fewer people are learning the skills to repair things we own. Addressing climate change will require us stop throwing tech away, and start treasuring and maintaining it.

A couple of years ago my father and brother – both qualified engineers – were supporting a Repair Cafe in Hereford. The idea being for people to bring in old items to be repaired rather than be thrown into landfill.

I’ve always been interested in what’s inside an object or how it works, particularly electronics, and where possible I like to at least attempt a repair using my favourite Gorilla Glue and even digging out a soldering iron. It’s also fun to do this with my kids as long as they don’t move all the screws about!

The Repair Cafés are still going strong with over 100 in the UK and 1500 worldwide. If you have a gadget or household item that’s broken, before you chuck it go along to a Repair Café near you to see if it can be fixed. Even if you still fancy shopping for a new item you can Freecycle the old one for someone else to enjoy.


Update: You may also like to watch this short from the series Me vs Climate Change about Tech which features a visit to a Repair Café.

Author: Ben Kinnaird


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