Environment

Here’s how to save money and the environment at the same time

Over two-thirds of Londoners want to learn to repair old items.

man fixing computer motherboard with screwdriver for Repair Week 2022

Approximately 19 million electrical items are currently in need of repair in London. (Image: Repair Week)

Many of us are feeling the pinch of the cost of living at the moment, and it gets worse every time something we need or use regularly needs replacing because it’s broken. But what if you didn’t have to replace it?

That’s where Repair Week, a campaign aiming to encourage people across the UK to repair items, waste less, and save money, comes in. 

Repair Week starts today and runs until March 26, providing online sessions, in-person workshops around London and the opening of a drop-in hub in Manchester as well as general advice on their website to help people fix all the broken things in their homes.

It includes events where people can learn basic woodworking skills, how to sew, darn, and upcycle old clothes, fix common software and hardware issues in laptops, and mend shoes.

Over two-thirds of Londoners want to learn to repair things to save money and nearly half of Londoners have already done so using online videos or workshops, Repair Week says.

“With the cost of living and climate crises, it makes sense that there is a growing appetite for learning to repair and upcycle rather than throw away,” Rebecca Child, Repair Week campaign manager, told the Big Issue. 

Child said: “There are lots of free events across the capital, and a lovely community spirit to be found in local repair workshops if you can get to one. We also have plenty of free advice and hacks on our website if you can’t get to a workshop in person.”

Polling by Censuswide conducted for Repair Week showed that an average person in London threw away £258 worth of stuff last year that could have been fixed – or around £1.8 billion worth of waste across the year.

Instead of buying a new bike, top, sofa, or phone, they could be mended and last twice as long, saving money and reducing the amount of waste.

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In the UK, we send over 15 million tonnes of rubbish from our homes to landfill each year, items usually made from non-renewable resources such as plastic and which expel greenhouse gases when they decompose, harming the atmosphere and polluting the local environment.

Data provided by Repair Week found 25 million pieces of textiles and clothing, 10 million bikes, 19 million electrical items, and 15 million pieces of furniture are in need of repair in London’s homes and could end up in landfill if they aren’t fixed.

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Having seen success in the past getting Londoners mending and fixing broken or damaged items, Repair Week has expanded its campaign to Manchester to promote repair skills across the north-east city with support from waste management company SUEZ and Recycle for Greater Manchester.

Manchester’s Renew Hub will open on March 23 and will sell pre-loved items that would have otherwise been thrown away and give all the profits back to the local community.

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