Right to repair is on the way

April 5, 2021 by  
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Right to repair is on the way Suz Okie Mon, 04/05/2021 – 00:40 In the waning months of 2020, the European Union took ambitious steps to address the more than 12 million tons of electronic waste the bloc produces annually. Acknowledging that “Europe is living well beyond planetary boundaries,” a European Parliamen vote called for mandatory repairability scores for consumer electronics, amongst a host of other initiatives intended to extend products’ life spans. Wasting no time, several European nations jumped in on the (repair) action — the U.K. agreed to enforce EU repair rules, France launched a repairability index for select electronics and Austria  reduced taxes on small repairs.  While some feel these efforts don’t go far enough , they’re all seen as a huge win for the right to repair movement — an activist-led fight to give consumers (or third-party repair shops of their choosing) the legally protected freedom to fix and modify the products they own. What’s in a movement From tractors to TVs, when everyday products break they are difficult, if not impossible, to fix. Replacement parts and repair manuals are hard to come by; complex designs make disassembly unmanageable; and legal hurdles have been erected in the name of IP and consumer data protection, amongst other arguments. In many cases, it is easier to replace than it is to repair, and the activists behind the right to repair movement want this to change. Beyond enshrining consumer rights, the right to repair could combat planned obsolescence and a throwaway culture that has turned e-waste into the fastest growing waste stream around the globe. All things considered, their arguments are pretty compelling. Beyond enshrining consumer rights, the right to repair could combat planned obsolescence and a throwaway culture that has turned e-waste into the fastest growing waste stream around the globe — weighing in at more than 50 million metric tons annually. Within that stream — of which less than 20 percent is recycled — it’s estimated that we’re tossing $57 billion in precious metals and raw materials annually, not to mention the emissions that went towards material extraction, manufacturing and shipping. In a PC’s lifespan, upwards of 70 percent of the associated carbon emissions occur during manufacturing — and it’s estimated that by 2025, 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions will come from manufacturing smartphones, computers and TVs alone.  With all that embedded value and emissions, it makes good sense to keep products in use as long as possible. Extending the lifespan of American cell phones by just one year would be the carbon-reducing equivalent to taking 636,000 cars off the road .  Additionally, repair could collectively save American households $40 billion annually, and fixing easily repairable electronics could create 345,000 stable, local jobs . Most important — and perhaps most top of mind — repair can save lives. When the pandemic struck and the need for ventilators skyrocketed, financial, legal and training limitations set forth by manufacturers were restricting the repair of these devices , thus delaying life-saving treatment.  Movement in America Perhaps we can thank COVID-19 for shining a light on the lifesaving magic of the right to repair — according to recent coverage, the movement is “poised to explode.” While this momentum is evident in recent European legislation, across the pond the U.S. is experiencing traction of its own.  In August, the Critical Medical Infrastructure Right-to-Repair Act of 2020 marked the first time in U.S. history that a right to repair bill was proposed on the national level. Another notable moment was the inclusion of the right to repair agriculture equipment in the Democratic Party platform . Since then, more than half the states in the union have introduced right to repair bills that call for equal access to things such as replacement parts, training manuals and tools. While these bills are often limited to a specific industry — targeting electronics, appliances, automobiles, farming or medical equipment — the passage of just one could have ripple effects across the nation.  In November, Massachusetts passed a resolution to bolster its 2012 automotive right to repair law — the first and only right to repair law on the books in the U.S. The resolution expands the data and diagnostic information automakers are required to provide, thus enabling third-party repairs. Despite its limited scope, the 2012 law led to a national standard for automakers and the recent resolution is expected to have similar effects. “I feel excited about the level of momentum that is growing for right to repair,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Repair Association , recently shared with me. “It’s hard to predict which of the many bills that are being considered will clear all the hurdles — but with more bills the odds are better than ever.” Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit and another vocal repair proponent, also shared feeling hopeful: “The growing number [of bills] shows an increasing groundswell. People want this to happen.” So, what’s the holdup? According to Gordon-Byrne and Wiens, the biggest barrier to sweeping right to repair legislation is clear: manufacturer opposition.  With arguments ranging from consumer protection to safety concerns to quality control and beyond, manufacturers from diverse industries have fought right to repair bills, in some cases aggressively. “In New York state, there is $2.5 trillion in market cap registered to lobby against the right to repair bill,” Wiens noted. According to Gordon-Byrne, their motivations are somewhat singular: “Manufacturers are enjoying the benefits of monopolized repair.” There’s a huge opportunity to build a thriving ecosystem around your products, and monetize them over the long run. In spite of opposition, there’s a huge opportunity for manufacturers to throw their hat into a more inclusive repair ring. Robust repair offerings can generate new revenue streams, strengthen customer relationships, and revamp traditional business models , not to mention bolster a company’s sustainability chops.  “There’s a huge opportunity to build a thriving ecosystem around your products, and monetize them over the long run. Build a model making money selling parts, or licensing models for 3D printed parts,” Wiens suggested. “Manufacturer service networks can be hugely lucrative, as we see in the medical device arena.”  A call to action From where I’m sitting, the value (and need) to scale repair is evident. So I’ll leave you readers with a few requests.  For manufacturers: Reap the financial, reputational and environmental benefits of repair by researching and investing in repairability programs. Not sure where to start? Fret not, GreenBiz has a framework for you.  For employees: “Work inside your companies to get them to take a public stance on this issue … [If policy teams within the most vocal opponents] drop their opposition, then these bills would pass quickly,” prompted Wiens.  For the rest of us: Visit the Repair Association’s Stand Up page to contact your legislator and voice your support. As Gordon-Byrne’s noted, “[It’s] free, super easy and — believe me — powerful. Every individual can make a difference.” Pull Quote Beyond enshrining consumer rights, the right to repair could combat planned obsolescence and a throwaway culture that has turned e-waste into the fastest growing waste stream around the globe. There’s a huge opportunity to build a thriving ecosystem around your products, and monetize them over the long run. Topics Circular Economy E-Waste Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock Vlad Teodor Close Authorship

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Right to repair is on the way

UK citizens get the right to repair

March 11, 2021 by  
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Consumers have become accustomed to the idea of planned obsolescence — that the things we buy will deliberately fail sooner rather than later, requiring us to buy more. But the  U.K.  has announced that it will implement EU rules for increasing the lifespan of certain consumer goods. The new measures go into effect this summer and apply to appliances like dishwashers, TVs, refrigerators and washing machines. For the first time, manufacturers will be legally required to make spare parts available so that consumers can make repairs at home; hence, the nickname “right to repair law.” As MP Philip Dunne stated, “There should be no contest: consumers should have every right to fix items they own. Making spare parts available is the first step in creating a circular economy where we use,  reuse  and recycle products.” Related: How to mend and repair your clothes Goods will also be better made and more energy efficient. This month, new energy labels were introduced with an A-G grading scale. Few products meet the high standards required for the A grade. “Simplifying the way energy efficiency is displayed on labels will help consumers to make more informed choices to reduce their  energy  consumption and bills,” said Emilie Carmichael, head of the Energy Saving Trust. The new rules could extend products’ lifespan by up to 10 years. Buying products with higher energy standards may also save consumers a significant amount of money over the lifespan of their purchases. The regulations reflect agreements made two years ago by U.K. and EU member states and will apply to Great Britain. Northern Ireland will continue to apply  EU  laws. “Our upcoming energy efficiency framework will push electrical products to use even less energy and material resources, saving people money on their bills and reducing carbon  emissions ,” said Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, as reported by The Guardian. Via BBC , The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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UK citizens get the right to repair

Eco-friendly options for decluttering waste

January 24, 2019 by  
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Clutter in your home creates a weight, in every sense of the word. From the physical weight of moving objects around to the mental weight of maintaining each item, to the emotional weight of retaining items out of guilt. Ultimately, having too much stuff can take a toll. With the documentary Minimalism hitting Netflix a few years ago, and now Marie Kondo teaching everyone how to declutter their homes, the idea of decluttering and downsizing seems to be everywhere these days. There are many reasons decluttering is healthy for the mind and home, but there are also side effects of decluttering including the waste produced during the purge. When figuring out what to do with the items you no longer covet, consider sustainable practices, your wallet and your mental health. The mere act of clearing out the clutter is a step towards sustainability in your home. After all, that leaves less objects to clean, repair and carbon offset. It also removes the clutter from your mind. Once you get to the point of letting things go, it’s important to shift your subsequent buying habits so that you don’t accumulate unwanted items again. So now that you’ve cleared out the excess things in your home, what do you do with all the stuff you’re getting rid of? With simplicity and eco-friendly practices in mind, the goal is to avoid sending even the smallest item to the landfill . Here are some options to consider. Related: 9 simple tips to Feng Shui your home Sell Have a garage sale or sell items with online social media or community pages or apps on your phone. Type “Buy/Sell” into your Facebook search engine and you’re likely to find a local marketplace. If you’re overwhelmed by a large amount of items to sell, hire a local estate sale company to handle the task for you. Although it digs into your profits to pay someone else, it’s better than filling the dump with usable items. Donate Many cities have community pages online where you can offer up your goods as a “pay it forward” type of thing. By giving your belongings to someone who might need or want it, you’re ensuring a fuller life cycle and incurring less waste. You might even get someone to come pick it up, reducing the need to haul it away. For example, some people repair and resell appliances or lawn mowers so they will offer to pick yours up, saving you a lot of hassle. Also, look into local drop boxes. Some areas have them on nearly every corner for usable clothing and shoes. If your city has a sharing station, such as a small shed that anyone can take from as needed, donate food and toiletries there. Also look for organizations like Love Inc, who help people get needed personal care items or organizations that assist people with clothing and personal care items needed for interviews to get a job. Preschools, church childcare and homecare centers all appreciate the donation of toys is workable conditions. They might also accept a few changes of lightly used clothing to keep around in the case of potty or recess accidents. Look to your local shelter for another donation option. From kid to adult sizes, shelters are always in need of warm clothing and coats. It’s also a good place to extend the life of blankets you no longer use and along with all those unopened hotel toiletries you store. For unwanted shoes, check around for local drop boxes that recycle them, such as  the Nike recycling program , or others that send them to communities around the world to those in need. Of course, there is always the option of donating goods to local thrift shops as well. When it comes to home improvement supplies, take the load to your local Habitat for Humanity. Some branches will even pick up at your location so you can let go of the extra lumber, roofing, flooring pieces and cement blocks you’ve been holding onto. Not only does it feel good to know that you’re helping out others, but it’s rewarding to know that you’re also giving back to the environment by keeping items out of the waste stream. Related: Declutter your life with Lift, the ultimate multi-use bike hooks Repair An object may lose its usable value to you once it is broken, but remember that many things can be repaired with a little effort and perhaps a new part. It will also save you money to repair broken goods rather than to purchase a new one. Instead of tossing it directly towards the landfill, see if you can repair it and then either continue to use it, donate it or sell it. Recycle Most areas have public recycling services either offered through city curbside pick up or as a centralized processing center where you can drop things off. You will want to check with your local recycling center to see what they allow, but most take metal, batteries, light bulbs, cardboard, glass, plastic jugs and paper. Often times they also have an electronics recycling station for TV, stereo and video recording equipment, along with the remotes and cables that go with them. Reuse If you can’t find a way to sell, donate or recycle, consider repurposing your castaway items. Turn that old sweater into boot socks. Use t-shirts for automotive rags. Make a memory quilt with a loved one’s clothing. Just be sure that you don’t hold on to clutter with the intent of upcycling that will most likely never happen, or you’ll find yourself bogged down with the ‘stuff’ once again. Images via Shutterstock

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Repair or Replace: Which Is More Eco-Friendly?

September 25, 2018 by  
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Chances are you currently have one or more products in … The post Repair or Replace: Which Is More Eco-Friendly? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Repair or Replace: Which Is More Eco-Friendly?

The Repair Rebel is a Handy Tool Wheel Designed for Cyclists

July 30, 2013 by  
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Built for casual and dedicated cyclists alike, the Repair Rebel is a lightweight, consolidated bike tool made from durable titanium. This handy tool won’t leave you short in a pinch, boasting 24 features that range from a flat head screwdriver to a hex bolt wrench. Best of all, the Repair Rebel can be attached under a bike seat to keep it out of the way but in reach at all times. Check out designer  Thomas Smafield ‘s Kickstarter campaign for more details. + Repair Rebel The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bicycle tools , bicycling , bike tools , biking , compact bike tools , eco bike tools , portable bike tools , repair rebel        

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The Repair Rebel is a Handy Tool Wheel Designed for Cyclists

Repair is Beautiful: Paulo Goldstein Repairs Broken Objects to Be Better Than Before

October 2, 2012 by  
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Repair is Beautiful began with the idea of solving frustration. A broken object delivers frustration because it doesn’t achieve its functionality, but the same principle applies to a broken system that caused the financial crisis, which has affected our lives since 2008. In a time of uncertainty, taking things into our own hands and having the feeling of control back can be very therapeutic. Repair is Beautiful aims to give back this feeling of control – by scaling down a major society problem to a human size and projecting frustration upon broken objects that can be repaired through design and craftsmanship. The final outcome is a collection of intriguingly repaired objects imbued with new meaning and functionality. The once rejected objects reflect the environment that created them and call us to question our society as a whole. + Paulo Goldstein Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , green design , green products , paulo goldstein , Recycled Materials , repair , Repair is Beautiful , salvaged materials , service industry , sustainable design

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Repair is Beautiful: Paulo Goldstein Repairs Broken Objects to Be Better Than Before

Patagonia Encourages Customers to Buy Less of Their Product. Fashionable? Oh Yes!

September 20, 2011 by  
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What does a “fashion week”, in any part of the world usually ring in? The latest trends of the season and the call for “throw out the old and bring in the new”. But not for Patagonia, the world-leader in sustainable outdoor clothing and gear. At the recently concluded  NY fashion week , Patagonia introduced its radical “Common Threads Initiative” that aims to reduce unwanted consumption and give the planet’s vital systems a rest from pollution, resource depletion and greenhouse gases. They invite customers to take a pledge that is two-fold, Patagonia on its end agrees to build useful things that last, to repair what breaks and recycle what comes to the end of its useful life. Consumers, fulfilling their part of the pledge agree to buy only what they need (that will last), repair what breaks, reuse (share) what they no longer need and recycle everything else. Patagonia’s Radical Program- Use Less, Buy Less The Common Threads Program is multifold with Patagonia pledging to Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle and Reimagine their products. Their business does the unimaginable by requesting customers to only buy what they need and actually encourage the repair of its gear, if damaged. They not only preach but practice by providing the necessary infrastructure to support their initiatives. The company realizes that there cannot be “real” reduced impact is there is no reduction in use or consumption, however eco-friendly their products are. They realize the simple rule that- we can never make an environmental impact at the same rate of consumption. This realization is very hard for companies to swallow especially in times of recession and economic woes, but is one to consider for an effective social and environmental strategy. As Andrew Winston, co-author of the prominent book, Green to Gold points out, that there is real wisdom in encouraging your customers to buy less of your product Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and owner, said in a prepared statement, “This program first asks customers to not buy something if they don’t need it. If they do need it, we ask that they buy what will last a long time — and to repair what breaks, reuse or resell whatever they don’t wear any more. And, finally, recycle whatever’s truly worn out.” The most striking part of this initiative is the fact that Patagonia encourages you to sell your used clothing on their site or ebay and also buy used! “Nothing wearable should be hoarded; useful things should be in circulation. Reuse what you no longer need, whether you’ve given up climbing or no longer wear brown. Donate unused clothing to a charity or sell them through the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative site on eBay or on our website , (where you can also buy used rather than new, eBay handles the purchase).” Annie Leonard, author of ‘The Story of Stuff’ had some glowing words for Patagonia, Recycling is what we do when we’re out of options to avoid, repair, or reuse the product first. That’s why I am so impressed with Patagonia for starting its Common Threads Initiative with the real solution: Reduce. Don’t buy what we don’t need. Repair: Fix stuff that still has life in it. Reuse: Share. Then, only when you’ve exhausted those options, recycle. I would say Patagonia has made a very fashionable statement? Will you agree?

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Patagonia Encourages Customers to Buy Less of Their Product. Fashionable? Oh Yes!

Minneapolis Repair Kiosks Help You Service Your Bike on the Fly

June 30, 2011 by  
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Minneapolis cyclists now have a solution for making minor tweaks and fixing flats in a pinch with Bike Fixation kiosks. Open until midnight 365 days a year, this green startup by Alex Anderson and Chad Debaker is clever half vending machine and half repair shop stop that’s and equipped with everything from patch kits, an air pump, tools, and snacks.

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How can I repair a vinyl folding door?

December 10, 2009 by  
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We’ve had an email from Yvonne, asking: I have a small vinyl accordion door (single door size).

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How can I repair a vinyl folding door?

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