I recently read a book that had a a family member who ran a junkyard in it. He complained that fewer people came for parts to repair their appliances and cars. In a scene, one of the workers described himself as being in the recycling business. This made me ponder a number of things.
We have a snow thrower. We live in the Chicago area and have a REALLY long driveway, about twice the length of the house. It's a quirky lot. I also am in charge of snow removal in this house. It really wouldn't be safe if we had to rely just on my stamina. Last year we limped through the season with our small, electric snow thrower. The handle needed to be rigged to stay together. It has some other issues. Last week we discussed looking at it to see if we should replace before winter. I suggested we run it in to see if it could be repaired. My partner seemed less than thrilled. That would be two trips at least and another decision. Would replacement be less expensive in the long run? Could parts be found ?
My mother's cell phone gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to replace (and we did) because it was "free." I suggested we take it in to see if it was just an operating system or other fixable issue. That would "cost more."
I grew up in a household that fixed everything. My father could do most any household appliance, plumbing, or car repair. He DID frequent the salvage yard to get parts for things. He could take apart anything and put it back together as good as new. I picked up some of these skills, but some of them no longer apply. I can fix a television with tubes!
Now, it seems that we lean toward replacing vs repairing and I know our household isn't alone. I want to get back into the habit of repairing things and using fewer resources to get new. I do wonder though how do we learn these skills again? How do we teach our children? Is it worth it? What do you think? How do you decide replace or repair?