Thursday, 2 November 2017

5 Ways to Fix Your Stuff And Help Save The Planet

Any aspiring eco-warrior worth their salt knows the mantra of the Three Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  But truth be told, all too often the emphasis in society is placed on increasing our recycling.  In reality, recycling should be our last option and I'm going to share a few ways you can both reduce your purchase of new items (and the amount of materials and energy used to produce them) and reuse what we already have by FIXING it!

My grandparents were from the Make Do and Mend era - loads of items around their house would have been fixed up with tape or glue or have splints strapped to them. But a lot of those skills have been lost.  Added to that, the current consumer society where we are actively encouraged by manufacturers to keep buying more stuff, whether that's through trends and upgrades or built-in obsolescence, and we're destined to fill up our land-fill in double-quick time.

But there are lots of ways you can try and fix things and reduce the cost both to your pocket, and to the planet.

1. Fix it with Sugru

Have you heard of Sugru?  It's a bit of a revelation in the crafting world and is super-useful for mending all manner of things.  A mouldable glue, it comes in a range of different colours to be used to fix anything from plastic, wood, ceramics, metal, glass, plaster, stone and some fabrics.  Once 'cured' it will form a watertight fixing, and what's more it's flexible too making it ideal for reinforcing all those gadget chargers which often will fray after prolonged use.  It's advanced technology makes it heat and cold resistant, dishwasher-safe (got any broken dishwasher trays anyone?!), UV stable, electrically insulating, shock absorbent, wipe-clean and strong enough to hold up to 2kg. It's skin-safe and family friendly too which means the kids can have a go at fixing their own stuff, or even improving existing toys and creating new ones.

It's perfect for fixing all manner of things around the house and garden and it's mouldable so ideal for fixing broken toys, making lost parts and mending snapped plastic components.  I put it to the test fixing a pair of scissors that had accidentally gone in the dishwasher resulting in the plastic becoming brittle and the handle snapping.  There was nothing wrong with the blades, so a quick shape of some colour-matched Sugru and they were good as new.


Sugru have been kind enough to offer a set of family-friendly mouldable glue to one lucky reader, along with a copy of their rather fab 'Fixer's Manifesto' poster to inspire you.  Read on to the end of the post to find out how to enter.




2. YouTube it!

Let's face it, you can find videos on anything and everything on YouTube.  So if you don't know how to fix it, look it up, watch others do it and learn. Everyone can learn basic skills like replacing a broken zip or re-wiring a plug and if it saves you having to throw something out and buy a new one, you'll be glad you did.

3. Visit a repair cafe

We were lucky enough to have a repair cafe held in our village hall a few weeks ago.  There was a stream of people through the door dragging in knackered vacuums, broken torches, clothes with rips, jammed DVD players and all sorts. A helpful team of volunteer experts were on hand to help show the owners how to safely fix them, and with the added bonus of tea and cake on offer, what could be better?


I took along a suit jacket to be repaired which was beyond my capabilities, and the lady there did a magnificent job, it was well worth the donation to the local green group.

The international Repair Cafe network is 8 years old this year, check them out to find one near you, and if there isn't one - why not start one?

4. Buy spare parts

Sometimes, a broken bit can't be fixed but that doesn't mean you have to chuck the whole item.  Online stores such as e-Spares stock over 1 million spare and replacement parts from many leading brands of manufacturers.  You can get spares for washing machines, dishwashers, TVs, cleaning equipment and cameras to name a few. They also have a library of handy videos showing you how to.  I recently broke my vacuum nozzle and because there was nothing wrong with the mechanics of the cleaner itself, I popped along to e-Spares and ordered a new set of hoses and attachments and now my cleaner is good as new, looking refreshed and smelling much nicer!

5. 3-D Print it!

Now this may seem a bit out-there but trust me, the time will come when you'll be able to pop along to a 3-D printing store and make your own replacement parts.  The technology is still expensive currently but advances mean it's not beyond the realms of possibilities that it will be cost-effective to soon print new bits for your broken items.  If supermarkets are already 3D printing replica models of children for grandparent gifts, then anything's possible!



So there's no excuse to chuck that broken gadget.

As promised, I'm going to give you the chance of winning a multi pack of Sugru mouldable fixing glue and a copy of their awesome Fixer's Manifesto poster to inspire you to fix more. To enter simply complete the Gleam form below. Open to UK entrants only. Closing date is midnight on Sunday 19th November 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is in collaboration with Sugru.

62 comments:

  1. I do have a broken dishwasher tray, so I'd be interested to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i sometimes think my old dad was the god of fixers , but theres hope for the younger generation, my son finds fixes for allsorts online

    ReplyDelete
  3. were currently fixing up our kitchen! We moved into a new house and the kitchen is a complete disaster! we cant really afford to put a new one in so all our spare time and cash is going into fixing this one up!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Toilet light cover broke. Seeing every now and again come across something requiring a repair. Heel of slipper is loose, and a bit of glue should repair it satisfactorily, will soon see to that task.

    Rachel Craig

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ornaments always need fixing in my house! This sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to fix some of our broken toys with this and also Christmas decorations as they seem to be broken more each year we bring them down!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My troughen ( gutter), hopefully it's all right now

    ReplyDelete
  8. My kitchen cupboard door
    Ashleigh

    ReplyDelete
  9. only just heard about sugru - what a great new product!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will use it for all my cables that are fraying - headphones, phone cables, etc

      Delete
  10. would use it for my bike lights!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a figurine of a lady holding a basket which was a gift from a friend who visitied south africa, the stand she is on is broken, super glue didnt work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. We fix everything before we chuck or replace. Today it was my laptop (more of a tech fix admittedly) and a button on the paper shredder which had caught on something in the cupboard when being put away.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've fixed fraying leads on my laptop, tablet and mobile phone.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have a dodgy fish slice - the handle needs fixing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Back of drawer needs fixing as keeps coming apart

    ReplyDelete
  16. I used Sugru to fix my friend's car key as the plastic had snapped

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm such a nerd I love trying new things like this!

    ReplyDelete
  18. broken picture frames need fixing....

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a glass Christmas decoration which needs fixing (will be easy to fix its in 2 clean pieces) its still sitting on our mantelpiece from last year!

    ReplyDelete
  20. The wall, my boy fell and accidentally put his knee through the plasterboard wall. Luckily he was okay :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. My kitchen cupboard door needs fixing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I used Sugru to mend a kitchen drawer and fix a leak in the washing machine draining plug. It is brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Glass ornaments of dad's -sentimental value is irreplaceable

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've just fixed my tv! - leanne w

    ReplyDelete
  25. The shower handle keeps falling off. I'd love it to be properly fixed

    ReplyDelete
  26. The zip has broken on my walking bag - Sugru would be ideal to fix it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. My shoes. The puppy chewed up my leather high heel sandals. I am now chopping the straps off, removing upper sole, and remaking as latex high heels.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Our iphone cable desperatly needs fixing!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I need to fix the charger for my Jawbone Big Jambox, the company is not in business anymore and a new charger is extremely hard to find, plus its not just a USB cable, its a custom adapter.

    ReplyDelete
  30. im always fixing clothes, or giving them a new lease on life with a few alterations

    ReplyDelete
  31. Seem to have gone through a month of things breaking - currently it is the door on the drying which seems to like flinging open when in middle of a cycle! Not ideal

    ReplyDelete
  32. 2 tvs that went within days of each other

    ReplyDelete
  33. my hoover recently needed some attention - stuck together bits

    ReplyDelete
  34. My sons toy drawers have a crack in, I'm sure some Sugru would mend them.

    ReplyDelete
  35. My washing machine broke today so that needs mending for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It's just a little thing, but a favourite fridge magnet fell off the fridge and the magnet came off the back. This sounds perfect for a quick fix!

    ReplyDelete
  37. We have toys that need fixing, they break too easily these days!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I work in a nursery, so I have to fix broken toys and torn books at times.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have an ornament that needs fixing!

    ReplyDelete
  40. my Buddha is broken and he needs fixing! I've tried a ton of stuff but it hasn't worked. I'd also love to try all the awesome things you can make with these sets on Pinterest!

    ReplyDelete
  41. My charging cable could do with some love xx

    ReplyDelete
  42. i have a plug socket case that need repairing

    ReplyDelete
  43. yes! actually fixed my electric oven after the element blew , i googled and followed on you tube what to do , it cost me £8.99 and it would have cost me over £200 to have someone come and repair it

    ReplyDelete
  44. I would like to fix the shelf in my fridge door that holds the milk. My 1 year son pulled it off and snapped the little plastic parts that hold the shelf in place.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've got some costume jewellery that needs fixing

    ReplyDelete
  46. I need a floating shelf mended, our walls literally crumble like powder and so the shelf fell off x

    ReplyDelete
  47. my picture frame has been broken for a long time now xx

    ReplyDelete
  48. My 12 year old tried to fix her snapped headphones the other day

    ReplyDelete
  49. My son broke a door of a toy recently

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have a broken piece of laminate flooring

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dean T (@ribbons1978)19 November, 2017 19:28

    Fixed my laptop it had become the victim of a spill and I had to clean it out

    ReplyDelete
  52. I fixed some broken drawer not very exciting but keeps the room tidy

    ReplyDelete
  53. I fixed a shelf in my living room

    ReplyDelete
  54. i recently fixed my filig cabinet the draw front kept falling off

    ReplyDelete