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Make it, Fix it, Do it!

Still to come - December 2 -10  [ Greenpeace design - no time to make my own]

I totally missed Recycling Week from November 13th to  November   However, while it’s good to have a week to really think about what we are doing and better ways to do it,  recycling, like Mother’s Day, shouldn’t just be a one off thing which we forget about the rest of the year.

Not everything sticks of course - we have abandoned our green bin since we rarely had enough to fill it and my attempts at rug making are languishing somewhere at the back of a cupboard, but the Bokashi composter which I bought last year is still going strong and we still have separate containers for batteries, plastic caps and so on. I am also proud to say that I haven’t used a single disposable coffee cup since I discovered what an environmental disaster they have become. There are also plenty of other things we can get involved in and new ideas to share.

This is not exactly a Bicycle Kitchen, though it might look like it. - Read on to find out what they are....

Bicycle Kitchens for instance, where you go to fix your own bike using shared tools and expertise, have really taken off, not just in Tasmania or Australia, but all around the world. Make and mend cafes and recycled fashion markets – for him, for her and for children, mentioned previously are also mushrooming. Even if there isn’t a repair cafĂ© near you iFixit is an online resource where you can find out how to fix things yourself, especially electronics.

Still to come:

On the 4th of December the ABC will be screening “Turning the Tide” -a new episode of the "War on Waste” series and Greenpeace is sharing all sorts of wonderful ideas and patterns for recycling textiles and other materials via its Make SMTHING Campaign which doesn’t formally kick off until December 2 – December 10. This would be a great idea for schools as it involves lots of measuring and some manual dexterity, even if it does bring back painful memories of  my primary school sewing classes.

Though recycling feels good and is better than dumping, we need to go much further to reduce waste and resource consumption.  We need to pay more attention to what we buy. Do we need it? Are there more environmentally friendly options? Can it be repaired? Could we encourage manufacturers to take more responsibility so what we buy doesn't have to be replaced every couple of years - either because of planned obsolescence or because we can't buy parts or because it costs more to repair than to buy a new model?  Another part of is about making that happen. It wants us to have the "right to repair,"  adequate information, products that can be repaired, and reasonably priced repair shops.

Those sensible Swedes now give generous tax relief to repair initiatives, thereby creating employment as well as reducing waste. It would be nice if our government's proposed tax cuts could be applied to something like this which would benefit society as a whole, rather than the already wealthy.

I'd also like to find a manual to fix my ailing washing machine - it sounds like a jackhammer when it gets going and this is likely to be terminal according to the technician, "Cheaper to replace the machine!" But enough with the wishful thinking. I am actually going to make some pot mitts - not thrillingly creative I admit, but something I really need.