Thursday, January 17, 2013

Repair Is Beautiful

We are living in a age of obsolescence and abundance.  How did it get to the point where throwing away a $700 smart phone after a year of use was socially acceptable?
It seems that part of the problem is the marketing of products with obsolescence built right in as part of there core design philosophy.  If world economies are now measured based on how much there populations consume it only makes sense to create products that need replacing every couple of years....right?  Poorer developing nations consume less so naturally their economies are not doing as well as those in the west who's populations can afford (or have access to a credit card) to buy a new t.v. every couple of years.  When the global economy crashed in 2008 the solution seemed to be to get people spending again.  With only 5 percent of the global population, the American economy consumes a whopping 30 percent of the planet's resources and churns out 30 percent of its waste.

So here is a little challenge we are giving to our readers.  The next time something in your house breaks and your first reaction is to throw it away, why not try to fix it first.  If you can't get it back to its original working condition, who knows, maybe you'll end up with a beautiful piece of art!



Here is a cool little story of a man who decided to live with very minimal material possessions while still contributing as a productive member society.  Its amazing how he was able to free him self from the burden of debt within the first year and a half of his life style shift.  We're not suggesting this as preferable alternative to having a roof over your head however it does offer up a great example of how drawing a line between what a need and a want is, and breaking the cycle of excessive consumption, it is possible to live within your means and even get ahead financially.


So the next time you break something, fix it instead of throwing it away.  In the comments section below go ahead and share with us your answer to our challenge.  Post links to photos or videos to spice it up a bit.

Some Trash Facts:

  • The average American discards almost seven pounds of trash per day.
  • With only 5 percent of the global population, the U.S. consumes 30 percent of the planet's resources and churns out 30 percent of its wastes.
  • Garbage production in the United States has doubled in the last 30 years.
  • About 80 percent of U.S. products are used once, then thrown away.
  • 95 percent of all plastic, two-thirds of all glass containers, and 50 percent of all aluminum beverage cans are never recycled; instead they just get burned or buried.
The EPA cites that in just one year, Americans generate 236 million tons of garbage. While about 30 percent of garbage gets recycled or composted, 164 million tons are tossed away, including:
  26,800,000 tons of food
  8,550,000 tons of furniture and furnishings
  6,330,000 tons of clothing and footwear
  5,190,000 tons of glass beer and soda bottles
  4,200,000 tons of plastic wrap and bags
  3,650,000 tons of junk mail
  3,470,000 tons of diapers
  3,160,000 tons of office paper
  3,070,000 tons of tires
  2,820,000 tons of carpets and rugs
  2,230,000 tons of newspapers
  2,060,000 tons of appliances
  1,520,000 tons of magazines
  1,170,000 tons of wine and liquor bottles
     970,000 tons of paper plates and cups
     840,000 tons of books
     830,000 tons of beer and soda cans
     780,000 tons of towels, sheets, pillowcases
     540,000 tons of telephone directories
     450,000 tons of milk cartons
     160,000 tons of lead-acid (car) batteries

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