Consumer Power

Knowing when it’s time to give up and buy a new one

It’s all about knowing when your possessions have had their day. Everyone has their own line to draw. Others would no doubt have got it repaired. 

On Sunday our 13-year-old TV packed up and I had to face the fact it was never going to work again. 

This was after several weeks of carefully rearranging the wifi signal (all our TV’s through wifi), rebooting, turning the TV off and on again, arguing with Sue she was doing it all wrong and – finally – getting a new Amazon Fire stick. After all that I began to accept the HDMI port was done for and we could either fix it or replace it. 

Being a Zen eco-consumer I’m very anti the idea that anything I own should wear out. I have always enjoyed squeezing as much life out of my possessions as possible, as many who know me will testify. I trace this back to the first motor car I owned, a 1961 Morris Minor. The Morris Minor, like many other things made in that era, could never die because there was nothing you could not replace, and in most cases fix yourself. 

The Morris Minor is a sustainability icon! 

We found a suitable replacement for the TV (apparently you’re a freak if you desire anything less than a 40” screen as we did) and I brought it home on Monday. 

The big thing then is what to do with the old one. Finding myself unable to sell it locally I took it to our local recycling depot, where they dispose of them properly (I hope).

By a strange coincidence our seven-year-old boiler was assessed by British Gas yesterday, and they immediately slapped a “condemned” notice on it. Seven years old! Just a spring chicken.

The everlasting Morris Minor

“That’s it!” I thought. “We’re doomed to replace it.” Another victory for consumerism. But fortunately it was only condemned until we allowed them to carry out certain repairs, then they’ll happily remove the sticker. I suppose they think that’s funny. But we got a great price, after Sue sat the engineer down with a good cup of coffee and chatted with him about his teenage daughter.

This is a Zen eco-positivity blog. What’s Zen eco-positivity?

9 Replies to “Knowing when it’s time to give up and buy a new one

  1. I love this post! Everyday I struggle with the “is this too broken?” Having small children in the house helps with that. They never want to throw away anything, because as soon as you think about it that item is suddenly their favourite.

  2. I completely share your reticence to just throw something in the trash and understand how it’s a difficult but necessary decision sometimes. Just think though, that in the 13 years you’ve had that TV, some people have had 3 or 4 during the same time span. We must be the change we wish to see in the world. But we must also recognize we can’t be perfect all the time. Thank you for being conscientious when others might not be. I hope you enjoy your new TV!

    1. Thanks. I think this throwaway culture is a very recent turn in history and I know you agree it’s a wrong turn. The fact technology products become obsolete so quickly compounds the problem.

  3. I love this! I read a book a long time ago that made me aware of how quick we are to throw things out – you may like it. It’s “Growing, Older” and you’ll probably have to find it on the Internet. Changed my perspective!

  4. We keep things way to long and try to repair them but sometimes put up with limited functionality just to extend the time until we need to replace it. Great work getting it repaired.

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