Monday, October 17, 2011

Replace or Refurbish

There is a side of me that is very green, no not the Greene side, the other side, and doesn't like throwing away things.  I prefer to fix it if it's broken, or sell it or give it away if I don't need it.  One person's trash is often another man's treasure.  I have had great luck using the website Freecycle ( to give away things that I don't need, can't really sell, but I was sure had a happy home waiting somewhere.  I have even given away broken things that I 'knew' could be fixed by someone with a little patience.

Recently I have been going through my stuff and fixing things that are broken.

Shoes.   My daily wear shoes are Mephisto's.  They have a factory refurbishing program where you send the shoes in and for a fee, depending on what you need, just soles. rebuild the shoe including stitching, etc, they will send them back in almost new condition.  The shoes were $300+ each I think and I must have purchased them 7 or 8 years ago.  I think that this is the 3rd time that I am sending them in to be resoled (I live in NYC and walk a lot), and for one pair, completely rebuilt.  It's cheaper than new shoes, it is avoids landfill, and I get to keep wearing shoes that I like.

Headphones.  I have a pair of Sony MDR-V700 headphones that I think that I have had for 7 or 8 years now.  They are pretty good, DJ style phones and I use them daily at work.  I think that they cost about $179.  The ear cushions and the headband, which are rubberized have started flaking little pieces of rubber just through age,  Guess what?  For $9.95 each, I was able to get new ear cups from Sony.  I also ordered a headband, which was $39... still a pretty good total cost for fully refurbishing the headphones.  One catch though with the headband... soldering required. I can handle it.... but it was not expected.  It would have been nice if the rubber part of the headband could just be replaced without having to remove and add wires that are soldered on.

Jacket and Pants.  About a year ago I decided to take a North Face shell that I had into the North Face Store in SOHO and show them some areas where it had worn badly and point out that it was no longer waterproof. The jacket was maybe 8 years old.  North Face has a lifetime warranty.  They took my jacket and a few weeks later sent me a new one at no charge.  It was not identical, but after 8 years of wear, I am not complaining.  I also gave them a pair of snowboarding pant that had a big tear on the butt from me sitting on a sharp rock in Jackson one winter.  Repaired good as new for $75.  Pants cost $300.  Not Bad.

Sunglasses. As I said in my other post, I love my Maui Jim's, and will keep repairing them until they refuse to fix them again.

Hmm, I wonder what else I can fix.

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