I searched the Miele Canada website for a replacement part for our S7000 upright vacuum cleaner. They didn’t what I needed, but they do have 3D4U, a series of 3D printing files that anyone can download from Thingiverse. These are accessories rather than spare parts: an attachment to vacuum dust while you drill a hole, smaller-than-normal nozzle attachments for cleaning, a coffee bag clip that lets you add a pouring nozzle to your bag of beans, even an attachment to help you blow soap bubbles with your vacuum!
Miele say they are the first domestic appliance manufacturer to offer 3D printing accessories. That’s a great first step, and here’s hoping Miele and all other manufacturers of everything start making free 3D printing files of their spare parts available, especially for people like me who prefer to fix things when I can to keep as much as possible out the waste stream.
It’s impossible for companies to keep every part of every machine they have ever made in stock, but they could easily make the 3D printing files available. How many small appliances get tossed every year because a knob breaks or a little part cracks? I had to toss a stick blender last year only because a cheap plastic gear stripped after a few years of occasional use. I don’t own a 3D printer, but our public library system has some available, and perhaps printing kiosks could be a small business in future (if they aren’t already).
The header image on my homepage comes from showyourstripes.info and represents the annual average temperatures for Canada from 1901-2018 using data from Berkeley Earth. Similar images can be generated for other regions or the whole planet. From their FAQ page:
“These ‘warming stripe’ graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year. For most countries, the stripes start in the year 1901 and finish in 2018. For the UK, USA, Switzerland & Germany, the data starts in the late 19th century.“
The one for the entire globe using data from 1850-2018 is even more striking. Will I be around long enough to see the cooler shades return?
30 year ago this month, Margaret Atwood wrote the preface to a book by The Pollution Probe Foundation called The Canadian Green Consumer Guide.
I was on a pretty limited income at this time, but I bought the book, read it, and moved it with me to Montreal, back to PEI, on to Toronto, and now here it is back on PEI. I ditched a lot of books along the way, but this one survived.
In July 1989, I was a fully-fledged adult, newly graduated from Mount Allison University and on my way to the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. I was a heavy consumer of news via radio and newspapers, and always a bleeding heart leftie. I went on peace marches. I was vegetarian for a couple of years. I knew about the hole in the ozone layer and acid rain. I cared.
Now I reread what Atwood wrote and it is like I had never read it before. “The danger we’re in is enormous: if we don’t do something about it, its results could be as devastating as those of a world-wide nuclear catastrophe.” What did I think when I read this? Why didn’t it shake me into action back then?
It actually took Greta Thunberg’s TED talk last fall to wake me up from my 30-year nap. She is right to wonder why we didn’t tackle climate change decades ago when we were told about it. When you know better, you do better, but I knew and I didn’t, and I can’t really explain why.
Now I’m looking at everything differently and trying to make up for lost time. I hope you’ll join me.