The Environmental Impact of Electronics Repair
If we used every mobile sold this year for just one-third longer, we could prevent the yearly greenhouse gas emissions of a country like Singapore.
Helped me replace my smartphone’s screen – a truly amazing feeling of accomplishment that can only be achieved through learning a new skill!
Participant Beth Burks
It takes vast amounts of the earth’s precious resources to make electronic items, but few of those items last more than a few years.
The Restart Project aims to change this. We are starting a movement to make electronics last longer, running hundreds of community repair events called Restart Parties with friends around the world.
We know people love to get their gadgets fixed and learn how to fix them. We are collecting data on what our events have achieved:
Electronic waste is the fastest growing stream of waste in most countries worldwide. Manufacturing electronics has huge environmental impacts, whether we recycle or not.
Interesting people to talk to, problems to solve, and a steady movement towards a more sustainable society.
Restarter Ben Skidmore
The environmental impact of most consumer electronics and electricals is highest when they are manufactured and distributed – before they are even used. Everyday technology users never even see most of these effects.
Every time we extend a gadget’s lifetime, we space out and slow the impacts of manufacture. The fewer new items we buy, the more we limit greenhouse gas emissions, save water and avoid using minerals that are hard to mine and harder to recycle.
Volunteers have thrown more than 500 Restart Parties in ten countries. Here’s our estimate of their combined impact:
Want to contribute? Host your own Restart Party, then share the results
A Restart Party is a free community event where volunteers help people fix their own broken electricals and electronics, to save them from waste. It aims to change our relationship with electronics.
Any group can throw a Restart Party anywhere. To throw your own Restart Party, we ask that you stick to a few simple guidelines:
1. Offer free entry to the public (although you can suggest a donation).
2. Promote a collaborative learning process
3. Fix other stuff like bikes if you want, but you’ll need at least three-to-four electronics repairers.
4. Tell the Restart Project about your party beforehand, and share the results with them.
5. Be insured! The Restart Project is not liable for events we do not organise. If uninsured, please work in partnership with a group that is.
Fixing skills are everywhere, and fixing together is fun. At a Restart Party, reconnect with your neighbour, your gadget and the planet.
Find out where our data comes from or download it from our FAQ. The development of the “Fixometer” tool was funded by the Innovation in Waste Prevention Fund, run by WRAP. Thank you to WRAP and our implementing partners the engine room (project management and development), Circular Ecology (mentoring on environmental data) and Leaven Lab (design).