Commentary on the right to repair: Out of respect for the mixer – economy

Commentary on the right to repair: Out of respect for the mixer – economy


It’s an undignified end to a long relationship. The hand mixer – a faithful helper for the sweetest doughs and juicy breads – only whirs strangely. The dough hooks turn as if in slow motion, just enough so that he doesn’t wheeze. The easiest way to solve the problem: Just pick up your cell phone, two clicks, and a day later a new kitchen assistant will be in the house for little money. The consumer world of the 21st century, a blessing for modern people with multiple obligations. At least as long as he doesn’t think for too long about what consequences such purchases will have on the environment, himself or his children in the medium term.

There is a good alternative to impulse throwing away as well as impulse buying: repair. It has been increasingly demanded and promoted by the EU and the German government for years companies also set increasingly on it. But regardless of whether the European right to repair becomes law in Germany this legislative period or next: repairing things is already worthwhile for the individual, and not just economically.

There are now more than 1,000 repair cafés and initiatives in Germany. People from Holzkirchen to Cuxhaven meet almost every day to make toasters, toy trucks and yes, even mixers usable again. If you want to repair something these days, you don’t need a workshop like many people used to have at home; you don’t even need a neighbor with special tools. With just as few clicks as ordering a mixer, you can find out where the next repair meeting is. In addition, there are 3D workshops where you can print spare parts, a brisk trade in individual parts on the Internet and, also online, such a number of repair videos that you could fill the couch evenings of three more pandemics.

In short: The devices have become more complicated, but repairing them has become easier in many ways. Ideally, a national “right to repair” will soon make all of this even cheaper and more feasible.

It makes you happy to create things with your hands

But the advantages are already obvious. Anyone who repairs the mixer creates less waste and saves money and resources that would flow into new products. If you go to a repair café, you will hopefully meet nice, definitely curious people. There is a lot to learn from them, especially with complex modern devices, but also with the possibilities of 3D printing. Especially since it is like so often: the first step is the hardest. But once you’ve overcome the hurdle of unscrewing the food processor, your next step will be to use the Bowden cable on your bike. And those who understand certain basic technical mechanisms are less dependent on experts in other cases. Such skills are a worthwhile investment in times when bicycle repair appointments are as sought after as concert tickets for American singers.

Of course, all of this takes time. But firstly, comparing hundreds of hand mixers online or hunting for a craftsman can take up an hour or two. And secondly, it takes more effort and hours to bake bread yourself than to buy it from the bakery. Nevertheless, countless people have discovered this hobby in recent years. This is simply because it makes you happy to create things with your hands. This, in turn, indirectly saves money again: The next intensive yoga course may not be necessary if you have spent a few hours immersed in the inside of a blender away from your cell phone and the constant stream of hard news.

And even if the good old kitchen friend ends up being an unsolvable case: When the new appliance arrives and the old one goes to the recycling center – and not into the household waste, of course – it happens with the good feeling that you’ve given it a chance have. And that is a worthwhile approach for relationships of all kinds.


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