Repair – the 4th R after Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Every environmentalist and eco-evangelists knows the three R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle, but I think the fourth R is equally, if not more important: Repair!

I have always felt that it was better to invest in a quality item for more money, than the cheaper version for durability and performance. I usually regret when I slip from this path and buy the cheap item to save money at the time because they break or are not effective at the job I bought them to do and I have to go back and buy a new one.  Even the best products, eventually they wear out or break.  Instead of replacing the item, try to repair it first.

fixing Apple Watch
Apple Watch Screen Replacement

As an electrical engineer and a maker, I’m perfectly comfortable taking apart and putting back together computers, iPhones, coffee makers, microwaves, snow blowers etc. Sometimes I can fix them, and sometimes they are beyond repair. If something is really broken, taking it apart and trying to fix it may save you some money and if you can’t fix it, you can still replace it after you try. If you are able to repair it you will reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill.

Black bluetooth earbuds case for TaoTronic TT-BH052 with 3 LEDs illuminated and both earbuds glowing.
TaoTronic Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earbuds & Case TT-BH052

Recently my teenage son’s Bluetooth earbuds and charging case took an unfortunate and unintended trip through our washing machine. While the earbuds survived the trip, the case, which is also the charger for the earbuds, did not. Wireless earbuds are not very useful if you cannot charge them.

Before looking at buying him a replacement set, we attempted and succeeded in repairing the case. Happy son and happy daddy who no longer has to listen to his music or the shows he is watching.

I wrote up an Instructable Replacing Battery in TaoTraonic TT-BH052 Bluetooth Earbuds’ Case so that others would have instructions to fix theirs as well.

What is the last thing you tried to repair and how did it go? Share your story in the comments.

Happy Greening!
Jon

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Comments

  1. Sharon Guzik says

    The cord retractor on my vacuum cleaner. I watched videos online which suggested opening the cartridge and rewinding the spring. I was successful at removing the cartridge, but I must have missed something on the videos. The key is to open slowly and hold the spring down before it’s opened all the way. I didn’t do that. The spring sprung out and I had a messy tangle reminiscent of the mess old tape cassettes could make.
    Ended up finding a retractor on eBay (the company didn’t make them any more) and just replacing it. That worked

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