Don't Replace It... Refurb It!

Increasingly, it seems as though we live in a disposable society. If something stops working, shows signs of wear or has begun to lose its luster we’ve been conditioned to replace it. There are a number of reasons why this mentality is troublesome. For one thing, it’s not easy on the average wallet.

In an era of corporate wage repression where many families must dedicate their sparse free time to side hustles, we need to ensure that we squeeze the value out of every single penny we earn. Furthermore, our increasingly disposable attitudes towards things like technology and clothes can have a huge impact on the environment.

The Average American tosses out 82 lbs in textile waste each and every year which can have a huge effect on the environment. Moreover, the disposal of e waste such as computers, televisions, cellphones, games consoles or tablets in landfill waste can leak harmful chemicals into the oceans, which (needless to say) can have a devastating effect on marine life.

Plus, you’d be astonished at how easily household items can be repaired and revivified with a little TLC and the right know-how…

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Furniture

There’s no denying that scratched furniture or torn upholstery can coarsen the look of your carefully honed household aesthetic. Just because you have a rustic coffee table doesn’t mean that you want it to be covered in marks and gouges. However, many would argue that the odd little scratch or tear is inevitable after a while (especially if you happen to own a cat). While there are some effective and cruelty-free ways to stop cats from clawing at furniture, when the damage is done, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your furniture is doomed to languish in a landfill. Most surface level scratches can be remedied simply by rubbing them with a walnut. Upholstery can also be repaired easily and affordable especially when you use discount fabrics. Sometimes new upholstery or a coat of paint can make even old furniture look and feel brand new.

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Charger cables

We all depend on USB and charger cables to power our essential devices. But it can be frustrating when they’re chewed in half by an overzealous pet. Fortunately, they can usually be fixed without soldering. All it takes is a pair of sharp scissors and a four Scotchlok cable connectors. Strip off the damaged section of wire and then cut the remaining cable in half. Strip away an inch or so of the plastic jacket, exposing the 4 USB wires beneath the shielding (they will be black, white, green and red). Cut the shielding away, then slip the wires into the Scotchloks on either side. Ta dah… Good as new!

Jeans

Ripped jeans tend to go in and out of fashion a lot, so if your denim isn’t looking as debonaire as it once was, it’s worth hanging onto your ripped jeans anyway. But even if this isn’t how you roll, they can usually be repaired in minutes with a patch of denim and some iron-on hemming. Busted zip? No problem.  Use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to gently lever the zipper open at the bottom (on the side that’s come off the track), feed the loose track back into the gap you have created then close the zipper back around the track with the pliers to secure it.

With a little ingenuity (or even a YouTube tutorial) there are few things that need to be replaced when you can refurb.