Broken Things That Still Work

Starting a list of broken things that still work.

Category 1: Thanks that are broken but can still serve for their original intended purpose, even if in diminished capacity

Carabiner-style clips. Even if the spring mechanism goes kaput, the clips can still be used in many cases. I have one such clip that lives on a strap of my best canvas shopping bag; I use it to clip my reusable cup to the bag when going out to the minimart to get my coffee etc. I wouldn’t trust the “floppy” clip to secure my cup onto the back of a backpack if I were hiking long-distance, but it serves just fine where I can keep an eye on it and am not walking far.

Reusable water bottles. Even sturdy bottles (or their lids) can break. I’ve had a stainless-steel bottle rust through at one of the top seams. But that bottle is still fine for scooping water out of a rainbarrel. And, when the plastic lid of my very sturdy stainless-steel waterbottle split, I realized I could still use the bottle in situations where I could make sure it stayed upright. So, I can’t use it in my bicycle’s bottle-cage anymore, but I can still use it to carry water on train trips etc. (as long as I make sure the bottle is upright in my little suitcase, and my suitcase itself stays upright). My steadfast adherence to the old hitchhiker’s maxim of “keep luggage in view at all times” comes in handy here.

Our planet’s biosphere. Yeah, but let’s not keep testing that, and let’s not push it any further.

Category 2: Things that are broken but can serve a useful function other than their original intended purpose

Bicycle-tire innertubes. When a tube goes bad, I cut it into strips to make handy stretchy ties of whatever length and width I need. They are incredibly useful, right up there with duct-tape and baling-wire as a cohesive force in the universe.

As you can see, this is a very short list! If you’ve got any items you’d like to add to this list, please text or email me! And I wish you a fun thrifty creative day of not having to spend money or send things to landfill.