Sunday, June 3, 2012

The FixIt Society

About a month ago I wrote about how growing up in the 50s and 60s, my family (and our neighbors) regularly repurposed, recycled and repaired items and how we are moving away from that mind set.  I  recently read a great blog on Etsy called the Emergence of the Fix-it Society, which pretty much agreed with me (!) and summed up the issues.  There was a time, not so very long ago, when if your toaster broke, you fixed it.  Now it seems to be cheaper and less trouble to just throw it away and buy a new, cheap one.  And we wonder what our landfills are full of! I know that there are some people who have continued to repair and reuse items.  My best friend, Marilyn, would never think of throwing anything away until every bit of usage has been wrung out of it.  She routinely shops garage sales for "new" items and never, ever, ever buys anything brand new unless she has exhausted the possibility of finding it on CraigsList.  I so admire her!  For most of the rest of us, though, we have become a throw-it-away-and-buy-a-new-one society. Well, the good news is that people have had enough of that mentality.  The blog reports that in Amsterdam there is a Fix It Cafe where you can bring in something broken and have people help you fix or repurpose it.  What an amazingly creative idea!  I am not surprised that it started in Amsterdam. My niece's husband is from Holland and he is incredibly frugal.  There is a joke in the family about how many cups of tea he can get out of one tea bag before he puts the bag into the compost heap.  The blog goes on to say that other fix-it places are springing up here in America and how we may be on the verge of becoming a society who will fix things rather than automatically throw them away. What a novel idea!  My daughters first tricycle was found by my father in law next to a neighbor's trash can.  He brought it home, hammered out the bent frame, put on a new seat and those plastic things that hang out of the grips (I have no idea what they are called!) and my daughter had a great trike! Naysayers will point out that a few people fixing small appliances, bikes and clocks is just a drop in the bucket toward the big goal of reducing the incredible amounts of stuff we throw away each day.  But isn't that how buckets get filled...a drop at a time?

Here is the link to the blog on Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/the-emergence-of-the-fix-it-society/

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