This Friday, while Apple releases its newest iPhones, millions of students, employees, and advocates around the globe plan to walk out the door and join the closest Global Climate Strike. We will be joining them.
Irresponsible manufacturing and planned obsolescence is something we’ve been yelling about for quite awhile now, and we’ll be spending some of our Friday yelling about it some more. And now—globally—it’s time. It’s time to demand that companies and governments act for the health, safety, and well-being of everybody.
Our mission is to teach everyone to repair their things. Repair empowers people, creates jobs, and saves money. But the most important thing a healthy repair economy does is keep devices functional so new products don’t have to be made to take their place.
Manufacturing is expensive—both in resources and in carbon released into the atmosphere. If we’re going to slow climate change, it is imperative that we manufacture and consume less. We won’t need to manufacture 1.5 billion smartphones a year if we can make the phones we already have last longer.
Fix your stuff, fix the world. We’re fighting for the Right to Repair so that the planet will survive.
We join Patagonia and others in demanding that corporations and governments stop treating climate change like a marketing opportunity or political point, and more like the impending extinction event it is. If we have to disrupt workplaces and streets to get that point across, so be it. This world has the tools necessary to fix our big problems, but we have to be willing to pick them up and put them to work.
There’s a growing movement to hold the companies layering the earth in plastic junk responsible for the afterlife of their products. Flimsy plastic bags, food containers, disposable gadgets—we see these things spinning in the ocean and illegally dumped in the countryside, and we demand action.
Fortunately, we are starting to see a shift in attitude. Apple is using closed-loop materials. Fairphone is sourcing ethical minerals and rare earth elements for their phone. Retailers like Home Depot and Best Buy are offering single points of e-waste drop-off at their widely distributed stores.
But the most cost-effective, sustainable way forward is building repairable devices that are built to last, with parts and tools available to everyone. Long-lasting products need an ecosystem to survive. We’re fighting to make that ecosystem a reality.
Top image via WikiMedia