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November 26, 2011


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This whole disposable thing makes me crazy especially when we are talking about big appliances but even the small ones. We have a beautiful 11-year old oven/stove and I was told it was finished because a small replacement part wasn't available anymore. I went online and found a company that repaired the broken part. I've also found a great shop that repairs iPods in Toronto that I deal with by mail. We have been in our house for just over 11 years and things are falling apart (furnace, water heater). It just doesn't seem right if we care about the planet to make things with such short lifespans! Stepping down from my soapbox now.

Lisa J

The d word drives me insane. A few years ago I bought a big fancy Kitchenaid food processor and paid a very pretty penny for it, thinking it would last me my lifetime. I blew the motor out on my second use, returned it, and got a new one. The second one blew out too, conveniently after the warranty expired. I can't find anyone to fix the motor, nor could I find a replacement motor online. Last year I was given a new food processor from Sears as a gift. Hubby dropped the mixer bowl part of it before I ever used it, and broke it. I tried to order a replacement part to no avail. Each time I ordered, the order was cancelled because the part was discontinued. So now I have two useless machines in disrepair and there is no option to fix them. I won't try my hand at a third. I'm keeping it simple from here on out even if it takes me a little more effort.

I HATE this throwaway society we've helped create. So much damage to our planet in the name of greed.

Passing the soapbox to the next person...


Grrrrrr... my students all laugh at me when they see my cell phone, it doesn't flip open, is about 8 years old and still works fine, for now. But I am NOT up to speed, they want a new one every few months. I sit with the constant need for growth and expansion and wonder how we could create a campaign to turn economic sustainability into something sexy. It just needs a really good sell, like, but I see that's the problem, it DOESN'T sell... cause its about "enough", not about selling. I'd like to be able to sell the idea of NOT selling. Stranger things have happened!

Melissa R

My family lives in Rhode Island but we are in California for six months. In RI Freecycle is VERY busy. Giving and asking. I use it often. In CA I have found that Freecycle is just about dead. I am not sure why. But, on just about every corner is a Goodwill drop-off location. So perhaps people in CA donate to Goodwill rather than Freecycle. So that's all good. We have also found that there are a million thrift stores on the west coast whereas in New England locating one is pretty difficult, never mind having access to an endless amount of them in any given area.

A few years ago, at a Audubon movie event, we were show The Story of Stuff. Wow! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's quick, interesting, entertaining and informative. http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

Sonia / Cozy Memories

I am going to renew my commitment of not buying any fabric, in 2012. And will make a point of re-using & re-purposing fabrics & materials a maximum, both for my family or my little shop.
Sorting my parents' house, I can see that my dad used to keep/save a lot of things (in order to re-use them) but also that he had fallen down the consumerism hole. So many things we need to "get rid" of one way or another. (not throwing !! giving away or using ourselves)


the other day i was at my local stationery shop and someone in there was buying a new printer. but they were leaving it in the shop, and just taking home the ink. apparently they always do that, because to buy the ink separately costs so much more than to purchase the printer with ink included. so wrong!!
p.s. go margie, i've been feeling pretty fired up politically lately, too.


Thanks for the article link Margie.
The David Suzuki article is a perfect reminder for us all as we run up to Christmas. Planned obsolesence is a huge frustration of mine and something I often discuss with my children. The Suzuki article is so succinct and simply written that it's perfect to share with them. It also helps explain to them why I can't get my old Coolpix camera repaired for them to use, no one will do it, and its age makes camera shop workers giggle at the suggestion of repair. When my Canon DSLR was broken they wanted £200 just to look at it.
And that printer story Melissa, grrrrrrr! So frustrating on the manufacturing side but I couldn't help admire the smart purchaser of the cheap ink. The whole printer industry needs a shake up, the packaging alone is enough to make my eyes water.


thanks for the link to the suzuki post - i hate that d-word too. while i admit to being entranced by the "new and shiny", especially technology (hello, apple), i think i keep a pretty realistic attitude toward it and in large part look for high quality products in my life that will last, be it clothing or computers or whatever else. when my 6+ year old Powerbook died a few weeks ago i was shocked, but the girl at the tech shop was shocked i still had such an "old" model. she said there was no point even trying to fix it.

the resurgence of handmade is at least a step in the right direction, to show some people appreciate the effort and time put into making products that will last and are not mass-produced.


Thanks for the link to David Suzuki, Margie. I first realized the "disposability" of large ticket items several years ago when a friend's fairly new (7 years) washing machine stopped working. She was told they were built to last that long and at that point, it was cheaper to buy a new one. I remembered my grandmother's washing machine that she must have had for at least 20 years while I was growing up. I wonder why, as consumers, we don't demand better quality goods for our money.

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