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Weekly Tips | June 04, 2012

Repair the Wear!

A little wear and tear? It’s time to repair! When something breaks, we often think “Replace it!” However, one of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to fix items instead of throwing them away.

Have a product malfunction? In many cases, a simple fix may be in order. While many products are not designed to last forever, local experts can help extend the life of the products we buy- or try fixing it yourself.

Do-it-yourself repair will cost you some time but can improve your shopping habits (purchase longer lasting products, perhaps), teach you something new, and feel very satisfying. The Fix-It Club offers over 180 FREE step-by-step fix-it guides from blender to rug repair. You can even DIY with others: join the West Seattle Fixers’ Collective on the first and third Thursday of every month from 6 pm – 9 pm at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Luckily, you do not have to look far for local repair help if you need assistance with your fix-it project. Some brands like Patagonia and REI even have repair services for products purchased through them.


If repairing an item isn’t an option, you can still help keep reusable parts and recyclable materials out of the landfill by donating parts to repair shops and recycling what cannot be salvaged.

To learn more about local recycling options, call 1-800-RECYCLE or use King County’s “What Do I Do With?” lookup tool.

Resources: Fix-It Club | West Seattle Fixers’ Collective | Local Repair Help | BBQ Grills | Bicycles | Cell Phones | TVs | Clocks | Computers | Dishwasher | Furniture & Upholstery | Lawnmowers | Musical Instruments | Power Tools | Refrigerators | Saw Blade Repair | Sewing Machines & Vacuums | Shoes | Small Appliances | Stoves | Televisions | Vacuum | Washer/Dryers | Watches | Local Repair Help | Patagonia Repairs | Patagonia Common Threads Initiative | REI Repair Services | 1-800-RECYCLE | King County “What Do I Do With?” Lookup Tool


The Big Picture

In the Annual Product Reliability Surveyconducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center, over 13,477 subscribers are asked to share their experiences with 20,613 broken products.

In response to the survey, Consumer Reports provides “repair or replace” product timelines and information about where to recycle unfixable items. Read the updated 2011 report to learn about which products break, which don’t, and how to know if it’s actually broken in the first place. Note: some of this information, including repair-or-replace timelines, is only available to subscribers; your local library in King County or City of Seattle may have a copy of the August 2011 Consumer Reports Magazine. 

Sources: Consumer Reports 2008 | Consumer Reports 2011 | King County Library System | Seattle Public Library



Reduce first. Reuse what you can, and then Recycle.


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