How ‘Sharpening the Saw’ relates to sustainability

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3. More examples on how to sharpen the saw®

These last months I have by and by started to implement my own interpretations of sharpen the saw®. Through this new mindset – to maintain & fix things more often, to save materials/resources, even if I have to pay for it – I hope to be able to make things last longer. Which is also a great step toward my goal of a zero waste lifestyle.

Because Reduce & Reuse are the most important steps when you try to reduce waste!

Reuse anything for as long as possible to save resources and reduce the need to have to buy new things (especially if the contain plastic or harmful toxins), by keeping the old ones in good working conditions.

If everyone wold follow this principle, we would need to prodce much less things. And maybe people would also be willing to pay more again as long as a higher price equals higher standards equaling a longer life span.

In the long run, saving resources will help to save money and will reduce the impact we have on the environment.

To give you an idea, here are some of the things I have been fixing or plan to fix:

  • Hiking boots

    I got them stitched and the shoe sole glued back on at a local shoe maker. Twice. And they are still doing a great job.

  • Leggins

    It’s not easy to fix these. I wear them when cycling, all the time. This puts a lot of pressure on the parts that touch the saddle, usually resulting in holes. Small ones are easy to fix, and I sincerely wish I had maintained those with bigger holes more often! I still tried to sow them back together, so hopefully they will last me another 2-3 months. It’s not much, but over a long-run this would reduce the amount of leggins I would have to buy to replace them. A positive side effect: I also improved my sowing skills 😉

  • My backpack

    I’m still undecided if I should take it for my next adventure or find a bigger one, that will give me storage room inside for all my camera gear. Regardless, I intend to get it fixed to use on other adventures in the future.

  • My rain jacket

    Like my backpack it has gone through lots of adventures with me. All it really needs to function well again are a few new zippers and waterproofing. I’ve seen there are environmentally friendly ways to waterproof gear, so that’s what I will go for. It will never look as pretty and new again as it uesed to, but who needs that in the bush anyways?

  • My sleeping bag

    There are many ways to prevent having to buy a completely new one. I already purchased a bag of new down feathers** to replace the feathers I have lost through holes. All I have to do is refill it.
    It can be a messy process, so I am thinking about handing it in at a local outdoor gear store that offers this service. (Alternatively one can always send it in.) Sure, it costs money, but at the same time I could even give the sleeping bag an upgrade to a warmer down mix.

    **Please check how the birds were plugged to not support animal cruelity by accident, if you decide to go for this option.

I’m sure this list could be a lot longer, but as I plan to go and explore the Chilcotin mountains and turn the best shots into a book, all hiking and travel related gear is high up on my priority list.

What is or would be on your list? I would love to hear of your ideas and to-do lists! Which brings me to the next topic – skill development (next page).

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