Sus­tain­abil­ity Tips

Catron Courier - - Front Page -

Are you old enough to re­mem­ber that when shoe soles wore out, you’d take them to a re­pair shop and they’d put on a new sole? It wasn’t just shoes, you could get al­most any ap­pli­ance re­paired whether it was a vac­uum cleaner, wash­ing ma­chine, or even a toaster, ei­ther by tak­ing it to a shop or hav­ing a re­pair guy come over. Clothes could wear like iron, with zip­pers and but­tons re­placed.

There was a time when au­to­mo­tive re­pairs were pretty af­ford­able and al­most any part of the car could be re­placed. Of­ten, you did it your­self, and it was made eas­ier by the re­pair man­ual you could buy.

These days you’ll hear, “It’ll cost you less to buy a new one than to re­pair that old thing.” That doesn’t have to be the case. We all love a bar­gain, but some­times you can be­come trapped in the cy­cle of buy­ing cheap things that don’t last long. When you find out the item isn’t re­pairable, you have to buy another one, per­pet­u­at­ing the cy­cle. That cy­cle is not good be- cause land­fills fill up, re­sources are wasted, jobs move away from Amer­i­can work­ers, and we’ve spent too much money.

A re­cent study showed that some women will buy an item of cloth­ing, wear it only four to seven times, and throw it away. Men are guilty of buy­ing low-cost jeans that only last a few months. It used to be when you bought Le­vis they lasted for years be­cause of the thick US-made denim. Many folks are wak­ing up to this, and switch­ing to more ex­pen­sive, but to­tally worth it, work clothes from com­pa­nies such as Du­luth Trad­ing Com­pany.

That’s the first step in get­ting out of the destruc­tive rut—buy qual­ity. But you also want to buy items you can re-

pair. How do you know what they are? The site ifixit.com not only rates com­mon items by how re­pairable they are, but of­fers guides on how to fix things your­self, and even lists places where you can buy re­place­ment parts. They rate cars, elec­tron­ics, ap­pli­ances and just about ev­ery­thing you can buy.

Ac­cord­ing to US News & World Re­port the top ‘eas­i­est to re­pair’ ve­hi­cles are the 2007 to 2013 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado, 2008 to 2011 Ford Crown Vic­to­ria, and the 2001 to 2016 Honda Civic. The most ex­pen­sive mod­els to re­pair over ten years are: Chrysler Se­bring at $17,100, BMW 328i at $15,600 and the Nis­san Mu­rano at $14,700. Com­pare that with the Toy­ota Prius at only $4,300!

YouTube is loaded with thou­sands of step-by-step guides to do­ing ev­ery­thing from hang­ing a pic­ture to re­build­ing an en­gine. I can sit in my re­cliner and hunt through how-to videos. When I find the right one, I go out­side with the video on my smart­phone and let it guide me through the re­pair.

Lo­cal me­chan­ics, hard­ware stores and the big box stores can of­fer help­ful ad­vice and work­shops, too.

Re­mem­ber, even though buy­ing cheap things and throw­ing them away might seem like a con­ve­nient choice, in the end it’s not good for our econ­omy, the en­vi­ron­ment, and not good for your pock­et­book. ●◊●

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