Waste not, want not

Clock | robzlog.co.uk @robertz

The clock in our kitchen stopped working at the weekend. It’s a quartz clock with a battery in it, nothing special, but it’s useful for keeping an eye on the time when cooking or when we need to go out or do something at a specific time. We changed the battery, but it wouldn’t go. We tried another battery, but it still wouldn’t go. We thought we would have to replace it.

Now, we don’t like waste. Also, it’s sad that items on sale now just don’t seem to last as manufacturers cut corners to cut costs. We’ve found this with many appliances, even those produced by companies with a supposedly good reputation. And it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether they cost a little or a lot.

I didn’t want to buy a new clock for these reasons, so I took it down and fiddled with the contacts and put the battery back in. The clock went for a few minutes and then stopped. I had another go later in the morning and the same thing happened. I tried it several more times and eventually it carried on working and is now keeping good time.

I’m glad I persisted because there was no need to get a new clock and it would been a waste to throw this one away.

It’s a small achievement in the war against unnecessary waste.

Due to family members ageing and passing away, we have accumulated so many things that we need to find new homes for. We don’t throw them away because many of these household items, quite ordinary in their own way, are far superior to anything you can buy today, yet few people value them. We have been taking them to car boot sales, advertising them on eBay and generally trying to find people who will appreciate books, china, ornaments, tools and a lot more. It would be a waste to throw them away.

This has also led me to declutter my own collection of possessions. There are many things I have accumulated over the years which I have no real use for and recently I have found owners who will appreciate them.

Because of this approach, I’m a terrible customer for retailers because I just want to maintain the things I have and not buy anything unnecessary. It matters because the economy relies on appliances breaking down being replaced regularly. I think this has to change.

I am glad I got the old clock working. I don’t like waste.

14 thoughts on “Waste not, want not”

  1. I value oldies than the modern-looking cheap ones. They don’t make them as they used to. You buy cheap, which turns out more expensive as you keep buying the parts or new ones. Better not buy, if not needed.

  2. You are persistent! I would have tried several times. And then I might have looked up a you tube video to get suggestions (I nearly threw away a battery operated thermometer that suddenly wasn’t until I researched a You Tube video and got an answer, which worked.) My new saying: always research on You Tube before throwing away!

    • Definitely. I did the same with our Flymo lawnmower. When it stopped working, I almost bought a new one, then found out the switch had gone and I could buy a new one for under £5. I found a YouTube video showing how to fit it in five minutes.

  3. I am just like you, persistent about trying to repair everything! But I know what you mean about decluttering, that’s what I’m doing also. I have saved things from my grandparents and parents. I have decided to make up 7 boxes, one for each of our grand children. I will add things to each box that they have shown interest in and hope that they will pass it down through the generations. Good luck on your decluttering project!

    • I find it tough knowing that something was treasured by someone and no longer wanted by anyone. I always try to find someone who will appreciate a thing. It take time though.

  4. Why is it so hard to let go of ‘stuff’ that has outlived its usefulness? Whenever something malfunctioned or didn’t do what it was purposed to do, I’d replace it. But instead of disposing of the old item, my husband would take it out to his barn to store. Said, “those parts might come in handy sometime.” Now my son had inherited the barn and its contents – some of which he has no idea what they were suppoded to do at one time.

    • I think years ago it was much easier to repair things and they would go on forever. Now it’s much harder to repair many appliances in our throwaway culture. Until recently, we had an old-fashioned DIY shop. My wife’s secateurs had lost their spring and she took them down to the shop and they found a spring that fitted in their ‘box of springs’.

  5. Totally agree, when living in Spain people left unwanted items outside their property for free, when I returned to the UK I started the trend in the village pleased to say it caught on, a chest of drawers no longer needed helps a family with young children, recycling is the way forward …..


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