They forget the 4th R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle..REPAIR! I fix anything I can around the house--everything from staplers to our HVAC system. I kept my college car going well after I moved into the real world and made good money; it was cheaper for me to make the occasional $100 repair than buy a new one. Yeah, it wasn't exactly environmentally friendly, but the oil it burned (and leaked) compared to the carbon footprint of producing a new vehicle made that look like a drop in the bucket. It got pretty good mileage, too (34mpg).
My lawn mower was made the same year as my first car--1984--and apart from sharpening the blades and the occasional tuneup, it's perfectly fine for my needs. Again, a huge waste to buy a new one. And I doubt anyone would buy a 27 year old lawn tractor when the company that made it has been out of business for years (makes getting spare parts a little tough, trust me)
We throw out way too much stuff that could be easily repaired, but instead ends up in a landfill. I know this kind of falls under "Reuse", but most people think of that as reusing throwaway items, not maintaining the bigger-ticket stuff they have.
Next time you want to toss something broken, sit down and think about what's wrong with it, and try fixing it. You'd be surprised how easy it is--basic hand tools (screwdriver, hammer, pliers) and a little common sense can save you a lot of money.
Posted on 6/08/10 at 4:02 PM