So many things end up in the garbage - old phones, coffee makers, TVs - things that we were once so attached to and wish we could hang on to for longer, but they just don’t perform optimally anymore. One of Équiterre’s newest areas of focus is obsolescence, seeking to help you prolong the life of your favourite personal and home electronics.
Your toaster dies on you during the morning rush. Do you give it a little shake? Hope it’ll work again tomorrow? Pick up another one on the way home? But then what do you do with the old one? Leave it in a cupboard somewhere because you can’t bring yourself to throw it out or don’t have time to take it to the eco centre?
Omnipresent consumer marketing and the perception of electronic complexity incite many consumers to replace rather than repair. But the growing awareness about how dangerous electronic waste is filling landfills around the world has motivated citizens to stand up and start seeking new options. Repair cafes and repair-o-thons have been popping up in progressive cities around the world to the delight of environmental and budget-minded consumers. The format is empowering in that the owner sits next to the person who is repairing the item, to demystify the repair process and equip the owner to be able to better handle future repairs.
Équiterre will be hosting a repair-o-thon next Thursday, May 24, at the Centre for Sustainable Development, in conjunction with our launch of Canada’s first-ever report on obsolescence. Come visit us and bring your broken electronics, or be sure to tune into the Facebook Live event to watch the experts show us how it’s done.
Each one of us has a role to play in curbing irresponsible consumerism. A first and important step is simply to ask yourself, what if I could fix it?