The Fourth R: "Repair!"
For a long time now, I've been a fan of trying to fix things others might toss. I must admit though, it has nothing to do with being "green," so much as proving a point that "no, mom, I don't have to throw out my favorite pair of jeans with 15 holes and a missing zipper- I'll just add another patch." We talk so much about "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," and yet it seems that there's a fourth "R" that we are forgetting: Repair. After all, doesn't repairing speak to a) our human instinct to fix things, and b) a sustainable lifestyle that extends the lifecycle of everyday things? Two groups have taken their love of repairing so far that they've written manifestos, one entitled "The Repair Manifesto," by Dutch group Platform21, and "The Self-Repair Manifesto," from the iFixit folks. With only slight stylistic differences, the two make statements such as "Repairing is a creative challenge," and "If you can't fix it, you don't own it." The iFixit group encourage people to print out their well-designed poster, and hang it in your office, studio, shop, kitchen, wherever. So the next time you consider buying a fabric shopping bag made from "recycled PET bottles," why not just patch up your old canvas tote and hit the store?