Right To Repair Movement
Let’s go for zero waste when possible. Before I was aware of planned obsolescence I was guilty of throwing it out and not doing enough repairs. Now with the Repair Cafes and Right to Repair movement, I am more informed.
The Right to Repair movement advocates for laws that allow you to fix the things you own.
Just recently, in the United States, The Library of Congress and the US Copyright Office modified rules to allow consumers to hack into embedded software as needed for repair and maintenance. It’s a start.
When you cannot fix something where does it go? The landfill? Goodwill?
I remember my dad and my husband fixing our cars. Well, our world has gotten more and more computerized. What can be done?
When we bought our truck we were told that we had to purchase a very expensive extended warranty to cover our repairs. We couldn’t afford that extended warranty and so we didn’t buy it. That was in 2001. My husband maintains and repairs our truck and now it is years later and 240,000 miles later!!
Unfortunately it’s not always the case for all of our items.
Electronic waste, such as iPhones, laptops and such, are one of the most rapidly growing parts of this waste.
The companies who make these products don’t want consumers to be able to fix them on their own. They’d rather make money from servicing them or from persuading you to buy a new one.
I want to save money and be able to fix my own stuff without having to be penalized or without having to purchase expensive extended warranty packages.
The right to repair movement is about fixing our own stuff.
Mend It Australia - Kaz and Dan
Mend It Australia is Dan and Kaz. A retired couple who pleasure in mending and repairing.
We're interested in repairing and mending items. Keep things out of the landfill.
We were following the Repair Cafe movement since its inception when it started in the Netherlands in 2009. All of our life we both have been repairing and mending.
When we took an interest in it we decided to become involved in the first Repair Cafe in Melbourne in 2016. That is where we started from and we actually went to a Repair Cafe and enjoyed it. We decided that we would perhaps be best traveling around to them because we have retired.
DAN: I take great pleasure in meeting the people and the challenges that come up. You don't know what they are until they walk through the door. And that is just fun. There is no preconception about what is coming through the door. Just put it on the table and let's fix it.
Over the last three or four years I have really developed a keen eye for sewing machines. I'm pretty good with electronics though.
Kaz: I prefer mending and refashioning. Why make something when there's so much out there that you can refashion? All of the hard work is already done.
I also love mending in a big way. There's a couple textile groups that I have joined as well. I'm good at my craft.
Links to Another Repair Cafe podcast
Dan: If you can find somebody who can repair it better than what the corporate system can then why not? I know that the economy needs people to spend money but that's different from corporate greed.
We do like the barter thing and we've done it before. I provide fruit from our trees and somebody fixes something. That's something we can all get back to. Why should I dive into my wallet all of the time when I know there's other ways?
I think that Repair Cafe is a bit like bartering. My skills and time are offered and you bring your broken item and I will fix it. You can walk out the door and I'm happy because I've saved that item from being thrown out. And that is what I'd like to see more of.
Kaz: We are trying to get that message around Australia for the right to repair. That has not hit the radar here. In Europe they are leading the way really and certainly we have the right to repair movement led by the US Purge and the Fixit Movement and repair. For me there is an issue around bureaucrats trying to stop us from fixing our things. I don't want them to encourage this learned helplessness.
As people we are losing our skills. My message is to not become helpless. Do not become intentionally helpless. Stand up and fight for your right to repair.
We volunteer at Repair Cafes because it's a great opportunity to just fix items and to tinker with items. It keeps things out of the landfills. I love being with other volunteers too. Repair Cafes are popping up all over Victoria. That's a great thing.
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