We’ve repaired for over five years in our communities. Now we are witnessing worrying developments, including the emergence of products that are simply — and unnecessarily — disposable. Some are even single-use.
We had a great opportunity to further reflect on what we’ve learned and the challenges we face during the past couple of days at two excellent events, The Maker Assembly and an event on makerspaces and sustainable development.
Recently we’ve been talking with neighbour business 2052 Props about a reuse project – where we would pull parts from commonly failing electronics and repurpose them creatively into new products. For Pancake Day we took the heated bed from a 3D printer and made some pancakes.
We visited the London Bike Kitchen – a very special DIY Bike Repair Workshop in east London. We had felt a certain kinship with this project for a long time. What is for “sale” is empowerment, community and resilience.
We see a danger of the multiplication of disposable, use once and throw-away gadgets, treating electronics-intensive projects like sand castles. As one-offs, where everything will end up in the scrap-heap – only the scrap-heap does not wash away.
At an event where rapid innovation (“fuck it, ship it”) is the central driving force, questions about green credentials could be deemed a buzzkill – but surely an eye for sustainability tradeoffs could become one of the many “ninjaskills” of the future?