We live in a disposable society. The relatively cheap cost of technologies that would have shocked and wowed just a few decades have rendered many of the products we use on a regular basis so readily replaceable that we assume it’s quicker and easier to replace them than to repair them. The trouble with this mode of thought however, is that not only is throwing items that can easily be repaired away is not only inherently wasteful, it can be horrendous for the environment. Since our mindset veers so readily to replacement rather than repair, we’re often unaware at just how easily a whole range of household items from trouser zippers to USB cables can be fixed in a matter of minutes.
Why not set a positive example for your kids and choose to get handy the next time one of these commonly used items breaks?
Clothes and zippers
The rise in affordable, good quality sewing machines has rendered many a savvy parent a dab hand at fixing the odd popped seam or torn knee. However, if you don’t have one, that doesn’t mean that clothing repairs can’t be made quickly and easily. Torn jeans, for example, can be fixed in moments with small patches of denim and an iron-on hemming web like Wonder Web. Simply turn the jeans inside out, place the patch on the affected area and secure into place with the hemming web. It’s a long lasting fix that takes less than five minutes.
Oh and those troublesome busted zips that we’ve all encountered at least a few times? They can be repaired in just a few minutes too with just a set of needle nosed pliers. Use the pliers to gently lever the zipper open at the bottom (on the side that has come away from the track), feed the loose track back into the gap in the slider that you have created then close back around the track with the pliers when it’s secure.
Your walk to work wouldn’t the same without music, podcasts or audiobooks to keep you company would it? The trouble is that your phone or mp3 player inevitably goes into your pocket, placing a lot of undue stress on the connecting wire. Inevitably this leads to loss of sound or stuttering sound in one or both ears. Fortunately with a soldering iron, some wire strippers and a little patience this is easy enough to fix in less than 10 minutes.
Pet owners know the frustration of seeing their beloved wooden furniture engraved with scratches made by unknowing claws. Fortunately for you (and your oblivious pet), these scratches can be visibly reduced by rubbing them with walnuts. Seriously. Walnuts! Take a shelled walnut and rub the ‘meat’ of the nut into the scratches. Not only will your scratches be filled up, but the oils in the nut will lend the surface a natural shine, making the scratches disappear as if by magic.
USB and charger cables can usually be fixed without even needing to solder them. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors and a four Scotchlok cable connectors. Strip off the damaged section of wire and cut the remaining cable in half. Strip away about an inch and a half of the plastic jacket, exposing the 4 USB wires hiding under the shielding (black, white, green and red). Cut the shielding away and slip the wires into the Scotchloks on either side. Your cable is now completely repaired!