Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/28/16

Repair-Not-Replace: Good for Your Pocket and Good for the Planet

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   7 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Adnan Al-Daini
Become a Fan
  (9 fans)

Recently the back bumper on my car sustained a few cracks as a result of a minor accident. I took the car to the dealer's garage. I was told that the bumper needed to be replaced at an extortionate cost. Not only that but also the car had to be taken to another city for that to be done. I said I would think about it.

Returning home, I contacted a relative who owns a small garage locally. He said the bumper did not need to be replaced, it could be welded easily, costing about a fifth of the price quoted by the dealer. The bumper is now repaired so skillfully that it is impossible to see where it had been welded. In fact, I joked that maybe he had replaced it.

This incident demonstrates the waste of energy and resources in our consumption habits of replacing rather than repairing. Carbon emissions are reduced by not having to manufacture another bumper, by not having to transport it from wherever it is manufactured, and by not having to transport the car elsewhere. There is also a reduction in the waste we produce which is becoming a problem in most countries.

So how do we change our consumption habits? And here we do not need to reinvent the wheel; the Swedish government has done the thinking for us. They intend to encourage a culture of repair rather than replacing by substantially reducing VAT on items that are repaired. Additionally, people can claim an income tax rebate equivalent to half the labour cost of repairs. The Swedish government hopes that such proposals will become law in January.

If more countries followed the Swedish example, think of the impact that would have globally on our CO2 emissions. Manufacturing goods is energy intensive. The website "Fix it-Don't replace it" gives the example of the iphone6 where 85% of its lifecycle's carbon footprint is from manufacturing it, not using it and another 3% from shipping it.

Climate change is with us already and such measures are needed as a matter of urgency. Such a proposal should not be a party political issue. Good quality jobs would be created in the country where the appliance is used. It would save the consumer money, and it is good for the environment.

Could we do something similar in Britain? Does this have to be a political issue and parties have to have it in their manifestos before it could happen? I don't see where disagreement between parties could arise. I don't see why in Britain a group of MPs from all the parties in parliament couldn't get together to push for the Swedish proposal to be adopted.

I saved a packet by having the bumper repaired and not replaced, and who wouldn't, given the opportunity. We all want to do our bit for the environment. We need our government to do its bit to help us do the right thing.

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Adnan Al-Daini Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dr Adnan Al-Daini took early retirement in 2005 as a principal lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at a British University. His PhD in Mechanical Engineering is from Birmingham University, UK. He has published numerous applied scientific research (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Libyan revolution

The Power of the Media

The Pursuit of Happiness. America, live up to the ideals of your Declaration of Independence

The Obscenity of War and Military Spending in a World of Need and Suffering

Global Warming: Doing Nothing or Very Little Is Not an Option

Education -- Heading to Mediocrity for the Many

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend