That’s right don’t recycle, at least not until you’ve tried everything else first. Recycling is the last step after reducing and reusing, but even before that many things can be repaired. Repairing electronics and other products is often left undone or by a professional. I’m here to say do it yourself! Repairing things is an empowering activity, one which I think all should try, especially if the only downside is that it’s still going to be broken.
I’ve been repairing or building things my whole life. My dad’s a handyman and likes working with wood. He built me a fort with a rope swing and monkey bars on it when I was a kid. He also taught me a lot, making me help him lay pavers, make a raised bed garden, build a shed, and participate in varous wood working projects. After a while I began to learn things on my own where his knowledge ended. I began working on bikes, ipods, computers, and even a little work on my car.
After reading this blog post by iFixit I decided to post my own blog post about the virtues of a DIY culture as well as a shout-out to the helpful resource that iFixit’s website is (They have guides for computers, game consoles, portable music players, household appliances and even some on cars).
Working on your own things and repairing them is a great thing. Not only does it give you the ability to fix things and make them last longer but it gives you a greater appreciation for the item and empowers you to begin fixing more things in your life and understand what is happening behind the screen. My humble start of laying down pavers has led me to working in a bike shop, given me the courage to begin my search to buy a motorcycle to restore, and be able to fix everyday problems rather than waiting for my landlord to show up and fix it.
I strongly encourage anyone interested in working on their own stuff to give it a try. Fixing your broken posessions is a great feeling, whether it’s as small as sewing on a button or patching your pants, or as large as building your own house.
While I will certainly pass this legacy down to my children I would love to pass it onto any of you. If anyone is interested in such help in the Pittsburgh area and reads this post I will certainly help them in any way I can to learn more about bikes, ipods, and anything else I know. I would love to do anything to encourage a more self-sufficient DIY culture.
If you have anything you’d like to show me I’d be more than happy to learn. Such events will only help the DIY culture grow and local communities begin to strengthen. Reduce, Repair and Reuse.