Is Looking After Stuff the Easiest Way to Go Green?

Things I still hear often… Going green is expensive. Replacing things with greener alternatives is costly. So, how about looking after the things you have instead? Going Green can be one step at a time. Let me explain.

Learning to care for the things you own.

What do you do when something gets broken or worn at home? Do you instantly throw it out and replace it? Or do you look to ways you could repurpose or repair it? There are some things I do not attempt to repair, for example broken glass. But when the handle came off my favourite milk jug, we smoothed where the handle had been and turned it into a vase. Our electricals and cars we repair over replace. This is something I need to look into more though, as would it be better to scrap them and replace with newer more efficient models? How many years use would I need to offset the carbon produced by recycling / scrapping the old ones?

It’s not always the cheapest option to repair. Sometimes the call out fee to just have an appliance looked at is a high cost. But here are a few ideas on ways to care or repair things you already own.

Photo by Karly Santiago on Unsplash

Caring for your wardrobe.

Clothes and shoes need care. Darning the whole in your favourite jumper, washing it with care and learning how to store clothes correctly will elongate their useful lives. I am not great at sewing, but have learnt to make basic repairs over the last year or so. Which has extended the life of a pair of pyjamas, jeans and several jumpers!

Washing with care is really important, and ideally avoiding using a tumble dryer. Tumble dryers are really harsh on fabrics, and make the wear faster. Though I confess this winter has been so wet we have resorted to the tumble dryer as line drying just wouldn’t work. Roll on spring!

Shoes need to be stored with care, cleaned and polished if necessary. Finding eco-friendly shoe cleaning products is something I am still investigating. But, I feel that prolonging the use of a pair of leather boots or shoes by using a tin of shoe polish is perhaps better than potentially ruining and throwing away a pair.

Mending cafe…

Mending libraries or mending or repair cafes are worth looking out for locally. These are often pop ups, where people lend their skills to fixing things for others. I’ve not used one yet, mostly as we have a good group of skills within our family for fixing a variety of things.

Sourcing spare parts..

Someone recently posted in a local group that they were seeking a specific part to fix something weird and wonderful. Within 10 minutes a potential source of the part had been located as it turned out the item was not quite as weird and wonderful as the owner had first thought! So it’s always worth asking if anyone knows where tp get parts!

Ikea keeps many spare parts in stock in their stores. Local hardware shops are great for missing nuts and bolts. And of course ebay! I have also discovered that LEGO offer spare parts if you’ve lost a part from a kit! So before you throw it away, why not thinking about fixing it?