Recycling is crucial, but getting repairable electronics and electrical appliances helps to generate less waste
Repair is a trend, a global movement that, although timidly, is awakening. And for this he recovers the logic of our grandparents concentrated on the phrase "here nothing is thrown away." This project includes initiatives to give a second life to shoes, household appliances and even bicycles. Learn with the following report what "lengthening" is (contrary to programmed obsolescence) and how to practice it. But know that while there are easy-to-repair electronic and electrical appliances (EEE) (and ways to recognize them), others make it impossible.
1. Against planned obsolescence, lengthening
The lengthening proposes to put an end to planned obsolescence, a practice that involves designing electronic and electrical devices with an expiration date and that leaves 215,000 tons of these products in landfills each year
The term "lengthening" proposes putting an end to the well-known programmed obsolescence, a practice that comes from far and that involves designing electronic and electrical devices with an expiration date: products with failures, which include ephemeral components or, directly, created without any vocation durability for the consumer to use and, shortly after, have to go through the box again to get another. Obsolescence leaves each year, experts say, about 215,000 tons of electronic waste (WEEE) in landfills.
The Alargascencia platform, created by the environmental association Friends of the Earth, collects a lot of information to help you repair and give a second life to your mobile phone, television and even your old bicycle. It has a directory with more than 1,000 establishments specialized in the repair of all kinds of devices and products throughout Spain. The objective, they say, is to reduce garbage and also avoid the extraction of new natural resources, which are also limited.
The "lengthening", as opposed to planned obsolescence, aims to give a new life to things that are broken or worn. This movement can be embraced in repair shops or assisted DIY, but also by resorting to establishments that rent tools or machines for occasional use, second-hand purchases, loan shops and even barter between citizens.
2. iFixit: the repair community on the Internet
Scheduled obsolescence makes repair a challenge. Household appliances have lost an average of two years of life in the last decade (from 14 years in 2004 to about 12 years today), according to researchers at the University of Bonn (Germany). This explains why fixing has become almost an act of rebellion, as well as a practical statement of principles.
And the Network has proposed to make it a little easier for the repairmen. The iFixit platform brings together one of the most active and enthusiastic global communities, with direct - and free - access to more than 43,000 repair manuals. In addition, it includes more than 130,000 solutions provided by the Internet users themselves. The iFixit community defends repair as the right to “open and repair” our appliances and reminds manufacturers that they must make it easy for the product to be fixed, either by oneself or by a freely chosen repair service.
3. Choose repairable products
But there are notable differences in the duration and ease of repair offered by the products on the market. And taking them into account is key to increasing its useful life, and saving many euros. To make it easier for you, iFixit has created a classification of consumer products, such as mobiles, based on ease of repair.
4. How to recognize a repairable device
One of the features that make devices more serviceable is a modular design that makes it easy to replace the battery and display in seconds and without the need for tools. Furthermore, it must be ensured that the smaller modules of the device can also be exchanged using a standard screwdriver.
On the other hand, simple-to-repair appliances facilitate disassembly instructions printed on the product, for example on the mobile phone case.
5. And flee from irreparable devices
If there are gadgets that are easy to fix, others make it very difficult. This is the case of smartphones that are impossible to open without damaging the box of the device. If you want your phone to be easy to repair, you should also run away from the ones with the battery buried in the motherboard and stuck to the base.
By EVA SAN MARTÍN