Repair instead of trash – this is how electronic devices can be used for a long time

Repair instead of ton
In this way, electronic devices can be used for a long time

Convenient, but not good for the environment: buy new devices as soon as the old ones give up the ghost. It is more sustainable and often cheaper.

The hairdryer is hot, the vacuum cleaner leaves crumbs lying around, the television no longer takes pictures: everything is annoying. But that’s not always a good reason to immediately dispose of the faulty electrical or electronic device and buy a new one. A repair may also be possible. And it’s always worth it from an environmental point of view, instead of buying a new one. The Federal Environment Agency underlines this.

Because the production of electrical and electronic equipment consumes not only energy, but also natural resources, which cannot be completely recovered even if disposed of correctly.

Repair together

The good news: if you want to get your faulty device fixed, you don’t always have to expect high costs. Small minor repairs can be done independently with the help of the operating instructions. According to the Federal Environment Agency, anyone who is inexperienced can also take a look at online portals such as or iFixit. There are free instructions and repair videos here.

For major repairs, the Environment Agency recommends getting multiple quotes and considering independent repairers. These are sometimes cheaper than the manufacturer’s factory customer support services, but are also responsible for fault-free repair under the Labor and Service Contracts Act.

Incidentally, this doesn’t apply to volunteer-run repair bars. However, repair initiatives, where professionals work together, can be an affordable alternative to professional repairs for small repairs.

Also get it repaired under warranty

But be warned: as long as warranties or warranty claims exist, it is best not to repair the device yourself. Otherwise, the corresponding credits may be lost. Better: clarify with the manufacturer or retailer if it is a warranty case before taking the screwdriver. In general, the following applies: The warranty period for newly purchased products is two years. There are no uniform specifications for the warranty. It is a voluntary service, for example by the manufacturer.

Incidentally, warranty claims can also be used in a particularly environmentally friendly way. Because here you can choose whether to repair the product or replace it with a new one. Of course, even in this case, repairs are the most environmentally friendly alternative. In both cases the seller bears the costs of transport, labor and materials used.

When buying, pay attention to repairability

If a repair is not possible and a new device is not delivered, consumers can withdraw from the sales contract or choose a reduction in the purchase price. According to the Federal Environment Agency, if you can come to terms with a minor defect, it makes ecological sense to keep the product and reduce the price.

Incidentally, even when buying, you should make sure that electrical and electronic devices can be easily repaired when in doubt. The Federal Environment Agency recommends asking your dealer or manufacturer before purchasing how long replacement parts will be available, what repair and maintenance options are available, and what repairs you can do yourself.

Also: Ask yourself if the new purchase is really necessary. Many electrical and electronic devices, such as drills, are rarely used in the home. An ecological alternative to purchasing can therefore be the rental of equipment, for example from the hardware store or from neighborhood initiatives.

About the author


Leave a Comment