Repair and Re-use 

This is the bread toaster at home and as you can see the clip that pulls it shut broke :). I tried getting it to a repair shop and the guy said that the clip cannot be replaced so either the option was to replace the entire toaster or try and stick the broken piece. Now, I have become a bit maniacal about not replacing stuff till there is no juice left in them … Everything seems geared towards “use and throw, buy another one”. The phones just keep adding one feature at a time and every two months or six months there is a new release, discard your old phone and get a new one. 

The mountain of non-degradable waste that we create will soon be as high as Mt. Everest !! Ofcourse the plastic menace is unbelievable. We managed to live 40 days without getting a plastic carry bag and survived really well. Himachal Pradesh has wisely banned plastic paper – everything gets wrapped in newspaper or some paper or cloth bag. Makes tremendous sense. The supermarkets have everything wrapped in polythene bags, people want disposable glasses… Hey our country has amazing steel, copper and bronze vessels. Re-use repeatedly and there are health benefits thrown in for :):)

For the electric toaster I just applied some Indian Jugaad and used 🙁 plastic clips that we use on clothes and it worked really well. The sandwiches tasted just as great and were browned to the degree we like. 

The next thing that has broken is the hair dryer. Nope, I ain’t replacing it – it’s working, just that the point where I fold it is broken. I will apply brown tape to hold it up and continue using it. It’s ironical, I would fight with my dad and call him a miser when he did just this – repair and reuse till the thing just dropped dead, and today am propagating the very same philosophy. Dad, you were so right 🙂 and I was so wrong. 

While on the topic of phones, just a small calculation to make my point – Krishnan and I convinced Amma to start using a cellphone when Appa passed away and she agreed very reluctantly. We got her a Nokia Asha phone 6 years back for ₹1500. It works really well, infact has better reception than our iPhones in many places. In the same 6 years Krishnan and I have replaced 5 phones each smarter, bigger, better than the other, spending approximately ₹1 lakhs and yes we use it for more things than just phone calls, but do we really need that extra feature ? I don’t think I can go back to a barebones phone anymore, but I am certainly not spending more money on phones anytime soon. 

Please watch this video, have shared it earlier as part of another blog, but it’s worth seeing it over and over again. Hopefully some of us get the message this time and start repairing and reusing :):).

Story of stuff

3 thoughts on “Repair and Re-use ”

  1. Agree totally with you…. the positive impact on the environment is huge, without considering the financial savings…. :).. Suraj

  2. I’ve often thought about this… My parents and their generation was totally into preservation… So much so that they used to expect kids to take care about their toys too… My father would often fix Shawn’s toys, replace batteries etc. When we were young our school shoes were ‘in scope’ to get repaired through a cobbler… Don’t even know if there are any of them around any more. Today we just buy a new one. So I guess this is not just about gadgets but regular stuff as well. Times are changing so fast

  3. I can so identify with this post. As a child and sometimes even now I am embarrassed by my father’s frugalness. However, it has become so ingrained into my brother and me that we use things to the fullest, we evaluate purchases carefully, and recycle/reuse many things.

    I can and do replace/raid things at home; taps, switches, minor leaks, cracks, and bumps. 🙂


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