Repair, replace, or reuse?

About five months ago I stopped using my iPod Nano for my runs. I wanted to improve my focus and breathing, so I didn’t need the distraction of music and fitness data. I kept the 16Gb Nano, taking it to work to listen to music, and since that model also took video it was my primary video camera.

Many people have a smart phone that does all those things for them; I have a pretty basic phone that looks fancy but it doesn’t do much more than make calls, and I’m fine with that. I’d like the fancy features, but I’m not going to pay $100+ a month for them. I really don’t want a phone at all, but that’s another post.

After I decided I wasn’t really using the iPod much, I gave it to my wife to use, since hers had been stolen.

What I starting using instead was my old iPod Mini (1st generation). The battery is completely gone, and the hard drive space is only 4 Gb (my Nano held almost all my music). It still works just fine, so why would I go out and buy something new or different?

I can plug the Mini into a computer or wall outlet for power, and I plan on replacing the battery. With a new battery, it’ll be truly portable again and I won’t have to rely on electricity except to charge it.

What I learned from this choice was to try and reuse something before making a decision to go out and spend money. Sure, a newer MP3 player would be great, but why do that when I have something that can be repaired and still work great? One good thing I can say about Apple products is that they are pretty solidly made. I’ve dropped this iPod Mini countless times and it just keeps on going.

All too often we run out to buy something as a replacement for something broken. But we don’t have to! I’ve mostly moved out of that mindset; whenever I feel like I want something now, I stop and think about whether I need it or not. I don’t impulse buy anything.

I still want new items, I’m not immune to that feeling of euphoria thinking how nice it would be to have a slick new computer, device or car. But what I can control is the end result: the purchase (or non-purchase).

How about you? Do you replace, repair or reuse things?


4 thoughts on “Repair, replace, or reuse?

  1. Wanted to stop by and say “Thanks!!!” for visiting my blog! I appreciate your post. Although I may have recently purchased a new laptop, my previous one was about 5 years old. Nothing wrong with it. I attempted to switch from a PC to a Mac, and the Mac computer and I did not get on well with each other. Still appreciating Mac products, my iPod and iPad are fantastic. The computer itself and were not a good match. Coming from Washington, we try to be a really “green” state. In my office, we not only recycle typical office items (paper, plastic, etc.), we go as far to compost, keep a community garden, recycle eyeglasses, batteries, cell phones, etc. My husband, Pilot* is a teacher, and we end up saving all types of odds and ends for his classroom. The kids use it for art projects, experiments, etc. It’s a good thing I’m ridiculously Type-A and keep it all organized!

    What are some of the ways you stay green?

    *Name has been changed for privacy’s sake

    1. Well, recently I’ve been commuting by bicycle to work! I guess that’s pretty green. I live in NC, which is quickly becoming a much greener area. There is wind power, solar, very tight restrictions on vehicles (no clunkers) and the county that receives the most beach tourism has even outlawed plastic bags! All stores give you some type of paper bag, it’s a great step forward I think.

  2. I think a lot of our “just buy a new one” culture has to do with few people knowing how to fix things anymore. My husband fortunately is a mechanical and electrical engineer, so anytime anything breaks he pops it opens, solders or tweaks or whacks whatever’s wrong and voila! It works. Sometimes I can google how to fix things but I can’t always figure it out.

    1. I wish I were more mechanically inclined! I’m good with computers and some other basic tasks around the house, but don’t ask me to fix a car.

      This situation with my iPod was important to me, because I gave up something I really loved to use for something that I used to love. It was kind of test to see what I was willing to give up technology wise. I made the right decision.

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