WHY REPAIR & REUSE?
Many of us have got into the habit of throwing things away very easily. But producing new consumer goods often generates a lot of carbon pollution. Take a modern smartphone – around 85% of its entire carbon pollution comes from its manufacture, not from using it. Repairing one item won’t save the world but if it becomes a habit, it can quickly add up to make a difference.
There are other benefits too. Fixing things can be fun – an opportunity to learn new skills or develop existing ones. And you’ll finish with a sense of satisfaction of a job well done.
Find out more:
- Watch this short video on the Remade Network in Glasgow (3mins).
- Read our blog “Dare to Repair – 5 benefits of fixing your stuff”.
- Listen to the BBC Podcast “Dare to Repair” (30mins)
- Dream big! Watch this short video about the Swedish shopping mall where everything is secondhand. (3 mins)
ELECTRICALS AND GADGETS
- The Restart Wiki contains a wealth of information, from basic theory and essential tools, to advice about specific types of device. Totally new to all this? Start with their “Scared to Repair?” page.
- The ifixit website offers repair guides for computers, phones, tablets, cameras, and games consoles.
Find dozens of links for buying, selling, upcycling, recycling, and mending your clothes on our sustainable fashion page.
Need clothing repaired or altered?
- YouTube is your friend. For a general guide to sewing, try Good Housekeeping’s YouTube playlist. Want to turn up a hem, fix a zip, or darn a sock … just ask YouTube.
- There are several local firms who make alternations.
- Want to learn more? Sew Enjoyable is a St Albans-based business offering sewing classes and workshops and West Herts College offers Dressmaking for Beginners.
For advice, try the Cycle UK website. They offer:
- online bike maintenance guides
- a video guide to repairing a puncture
- a video guide to roadside bike repairs
Watch this practical talk on “Basic Bike Maintenance” given during SustFest21 by the Verulam Cycling Club.
If that isn’t enough to get you sorted, take your bike to one of our great local bikes shops, or use one of the local mobile cycle mechanics who come to you house and sort out your bike. For example, locally there are CycleTech, Botox Bikes, The Bike Loft in Redbourn, and more.
Local bike shops buy and sell secondhand bikes, as well as new ones, especially kids bikes which are quickly outgrown.
If you have a street WhatsApp group, that can be a great place to find and offer bikes.
For repairs, again, YouTube is your friend, and is filled with repair guides.
The Household Waste Recycling Centres have reuse areas where you can donate and buy household items (check the latest status with regard to COVID).
Charity shops accept many household items.
LOCAL REPAIR SHEDS
The Repair Shed in Dacorum is part of the Men’s Shed movement, aiming to help men aged over 50 to stay healthier and happier for longer, by making, mending and learning (though it does have younger members and women members). Shedders work on their own project and also community projects and commissions .. so do contact them if you have a wooden something that needs fixing!
They also run a Repair Shed in Redbourn. As well as wooden repairs, they also have a Sewing Cafe which (before lockdown) was running sessions on Thursdays from 10.00 am – 12.30. For the latest, follow them on Facebook.
RESTART PARTIES / REPAIR FAIRS
The Restart Project aims for a more sustainable relationship with our electrical and electronic devices by encouraging and enabling community-based repair. Restart is growing a global network of affiliated groups supported by an online community, a repair wiki and a “Fixometer”, which tracks CO2 emissions and waste averted. Restart is also increasingly active in lobbying for “right to repair” and design for repairability.
- The Restart Project website: therestartproject.org
- The Restarters’ community (Forums, Fixometer, Wiki) – restarters.net (registration required)
- Find Restart events : therestartproject.org/parties/ (national and London)
- The Restart Code (video – 1 min)
- Our Story, Our Community (video – 4 mins)
- Poulomi Holds a Restart Party (video – 2 mins)
Sign up to Count Us In today, and make changes that matter.
When you register, tick to say you are part of the St Albans Climate Action Network, and then your steps will be counted alongside other local people.
Making things last through repairing and reusing items is one of the 16 highest impact steps you can take.