I’ve had the opportunity to stay home during the festive season as our office is closed and we are all working from home. During this time, I’ve discovered a number of things that need fixing. One of them is Zoey’s Leap Frog tag reader that she received from her godfather for Christmas last year.
It had been neglected for a few weeks as it was hidden behind some books on the bookshelf. So when Zoey attempted to use it on her books, it wouldn’t switch on. She presented the problem to her Mommy who promptly changed the batteries. However, it still wouldn’t work. So it was left in a corner for me to fix when I got a chance. I decided to take a look at it today.
When I opened it up, I realised that some time in the past few weeks, the toy had been left unused for too long, thus causing the batteries to leak. The leak formed a greasy coat all over the toy and had rusted the base of the battery connectors. I cleaned it out as best I could and tried to switch it on. It wouldn’t work. The next step was to open the toy up and clean out the insides. I unscrewed the various parts and separated the toy. Zoey was curious and kept asking “why you take out her face?”
I tried my best to clean out the parts and used aluminium foil to substitute the contact points that couldn’t be saved. I even removed the wires and tried to connect them to the battery connector points separately.
Most people would think I am crazy for wanting to fix the toy. After all, its not a very expensive toy and it is easily replaceable. I think I inherited this tendency of fixing instead of throwing from my late stepfather. I remember him often fixing things when they were broken instead of replacing them. Even the lights in our current flat, he fixed a number of times. Whenever a plastic part would break off, he would substitute it with a piece of wire so it could still hold the florescent light ring tube in place. He did this for a number of years and because of his tinkering, we used the same light fixtures for almost 18 years. I only replaced them this year when I switched to LED lighting.
In this current crazy consumerism culture, we are often caught up in wanting the newest and latest for everything. I wish people would stop to consider the waste it creates when we buy, use and trash. I strongly believe that some things are worth saving and we could all save money and contribute to keeping Earth healthy if we reduce, reuse and recycle. I have saved a number of toys and appliances from the trash can simply by taking them apart and fixing them. Sometimes it has been something as simple as replacing a fuse.
I know resources may not run out in our lifetime, but it could in our children’s lifetime.
Unfortunately, after trying everything, the toy could not be revived. If anyone needs it for spare parts, please let me know. If not, I will save the screws and send the rest of it for recycling.