Another major lifestyle change I’m working on to live a greener life is repairing broken items instead of just going out and buying a new one. This is a challenge at times because in today’s capitalist society, it’s so much easier just to buy something new. It’s often cheap to just replace something instead of repairing it. However, there’s more to just making repairs to broken items. There’s maintenance. Maintaining the items you currently own, will help prevent them from breaking down in the first place. Here are some tips for getting as much out of your electronics, clothes, and products:
Buying quality clothes is one way to prevent premature breakdown. Avoid fast fashion and cheap options from companies like Shein that are quickly and poorly made. I’m a huge advocate for shopping resale, but if that’s not for you, there are plenty of great brands that practice sustainability in their manufacturing. Other tips for making your clothes last longer including watching them less often and choosing to hand wash and dry when possible, folding and caring for your clothing items instead of just shoving them in drawers, and learning the basics of mending and repairs.
Many electronics end up in landfills when they should be properly handled by a recycling company. They can’t be taken to regular recycling centers which often deters people from making the extra steps to prevent them from ending up where they shouldn’t. By taking better care of the electronics you own, you can avoid adding more harmful clutter to the environment. First, treat your devices carefully. Always remove dead batteries and recycle them as directed. Avoid coiling the cables tightly and store them in safe, dry places. Turn off and unplug the electronics when not in use. Clean the ports and fans regularly with a dry dust cloth. And if something isn’t working properly, consider making the repairs or bringing it to a repair shop.
When it comes to most items in your home such as furniture, decor, books, etc. regular maintenance and cleaning is essential. Use environmentally-friendly cleaners and avoid harmful chemicals. Avoid leaving items in direct sunlight. Be gentle with your belongings. Use covers or barriers to protect from water damage or pets. And again, buying quality items means they’ll last longer though I am an advocate for resale shopping and learning basic refurbishing skills.
All in all, practicing regular maintenance for all of the items you own can help prevent break down and costly repairs or replacements in the future. One of the reasons I promote minimalism is because the less you own, the less you have to maintain. Simplify your list of belongings and invest in the ones you own!