I have needed to make a copy of the most important key of my house, the one we only lock when there is no one left. The first problem comes when no one knows exactly who has the original key. And it goes on when you get to the key cut shop. The one making the copies tells you that the model she’s going to use is the last one she has of it – so you are very lucky indeed today – because it is a very old model that is no longer manufactured.

She struggles to make a copy, and you arrive at home and the key half-works. The next day you ask another flatmate for the key and you go to another shop, thinking that, being in a higher street, they will have more models of such an antique. They don’t mention that, but when you are given the key once done you observe at first sight that the copy is by no means accurate. You tell. You are told to just try it and if you have any problem you take it back and either have it fixed or your money back.

While you are in the shop, the mate who lent you his key for you to make the copy comes back home and, as there is no one in the house and the door is locked with the key he lent you this morning, he is locked out for an hour. Once you try the new key, it works even worse than the one that half-worked. You take the key back to the shop and you remind them that you had already pointed out that it was not a perfect copy. The response you get is that you don’t know how locks work and he does. You let him do his things with the bloody key and, when you try it again at home, it works even worse.

Another flatmate sees you and you tell her the story. She then tells you that the lock is no older than three years.

Conclusion: the same mechanism than with computers and bikes. You buy something new, you use it for some time, say three years, and when you need some repairs that need a piece being replaced, it turns out that piece is no longer made, because computers, bikes and locks have evolved too much in three years to start making replacement pieces from last generation, no sir, you buy a new computer/bike/lock in order to function and be up to date, man, in three years things are so old fashion!

In my opinion, facing this, there is just one option and it is to recycle all existing pieces, and reuse them, reuse them, reuse them. Although a considerable amount of storage space is needed for that, and the situation with any kind of space is quite dramatic in London… but only taking production into our own hands – or in the hands of some one whose main objective is not to maximise profits by making us throw away semi-new things – can we put a stop to this madness – me says.