Tinkerers & Waste Warriors

 

MIA collage Morwell

Our Waste Warrior mission is about keeping good items out of landfill by mending, fixing and repairing them at organised repair cafe events.  We also mend, fix and repair at home.



Our story features on the about section of our Facebook page at Mend It, Australia.  Us RUDE Guys [Kaz+Dan]
would like to share it here as well.

Karen Ellis has always been fascinated by the resourcefulness of individuals who mend, fix and repair their things.

“As a child, I vividly and affectionately remember moments of my mother mending and making do, such as turning my father’s thinning work shirt collars. Whilst I have always been mindful of not being wasteful with my things and with my money, it was not until I retired that I found time to share my mending and resourceful ways with others on Facebook at Rude Record.”

Karen’s husband Danny has trade qualifications, and has many transferable tinkering skills. When the couple was blindsided by bureaucrats and prohibited from informally volunteering their mending, fixing and repairing skills in their local community, they decided to tinker travel to other Victorian communities, and share their passion for reuse and repair.

“Together, Danny and I became known as Mend It, Australia. We are self-directed, self-funded and self resourced volunteers who currently travel to organised and free repair cafe events in Victoria. And in 2019 we are planning to travel interstate and volunteer at more of these repair cafes.”

Karen administrates the Facebook group Mend It, Australia which features stories from their tinker travels. She also shouts out about other individuals, groups and repair businesses doing great things, related to keeping good stuff out of landfill.

“I am a staunch advocate for the right to repair and to reuse recycled materials. My all time favourite quote is about thrift by G.K. Chesterton.”

“Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance…thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste…if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.”

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Tinkering Twosome

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force; he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger.”  James Allen

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Beat The Man by not waiting for permission to be involved in your communities.  Get out there without fear, and do grassroots good stuff.  It’s fun, challenging and very rewarding!

Us RUDE Guys have been busy attending Repair Cafes in regional areas.  As Mend It, Australia, we make ourselves available to volunteer at these events about twice a month.  We are self directed, self funded and self resourced.  We are travelling philanthropists who, if invited,  give our time and skills to communities hosting repair cafes.

Repair Cafes are free events organised by local communities.  People bring items to be repaired, fixed or mended by volunteer fixers.   Toss it?  No way! is the slogan from the International Repair Cafe Foundation

Fix It, Don’t Flick It, is our Mend It, Australia slogan. This year to date [February to May], we have attended and volunteered at a total of seven Repair Cafes in Geelong, Castlemaine and Rye.  In June we will go to La Trobe Valley Repair Cafe in Morwell for the first time.

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 10 February, 2018

Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 25 February, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton ~ 17 March, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 14 April, 2018

Above: Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 29 April, 2018

Above: Southern Peninsula Repair Cafe ~ Rye – 20 May, 2018


Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 27 May, 2018

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” 

Mitch Horowitz from James Allen: A Life in Brief

 

 

Home Factory

 

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Ricardo-Bofill-cement-factory-yatzer-2.jpg Ricardo is an architect who lives and works at home. Home is a former cement factory.

 

Melbourne Design Week 2018 is underway and us RUDE Guys were relating to this article featured in The Age newspaper’s M insert last weekend.  All the individual stories were of interest to us, as they involved the reuse of stuff, by designers. 

Us RUDE Guys are not designing for sale and profit however we reuse and repair, and occasionally we will reinvent and revamp our secondhand finds.  Whilst flashy upcycling is not our aesthetic, we can definitely appreciate what’s involved.  And that’s why we enjoyed reading the article and finding out more about the designers, and what’s on during Melbourne Design Week.

And from the article these were the paragraphs [refer below in orange italics] that made an impression.  Why?  Because we agree with Dale Hardiman Designer that this is how we could be living in our homes. 

[“Only a handsaw, drill and screws are used for construction,” he explains. “I took away any machining and CAD. None of the work was sketched. It’s about the intuitiveness of making. I use rudimentary tools to display the ease with which we can reuse these objects to have structural capabilities.”

Hardiman hopes to inspire others to get on the tools. In his eyes our homes are veritable mini-factories capable of local production.

“Furniture manufacture requires buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery to [mass] produce objects,” he says. “[But] the average household is like a workshop; with gas and electric ovens.”]

The RUDE Home is a very private place.  Daily, we share an incredible amount on-line, that’s why we prefer to keep our home space private.  Sometimes we feel like we lead authentic double lives.  We like to meet people out in public because it gets us out and about and also keeps us socially connected.  We travel once or twice a month as Mend It, Australia and visit repair cafes and similar events. 

For us, our house [the building] is like a makerspace, large shed or garage – a thriving workshop for repair and maintenance jobs that are never ending, in our mission to keep things out of landfill, and money in our pockets.

It is not unthinkable for us to be pulling apart a chainsaw on our antique wooden dining room table.  Or sewing in the main bedroom that’s now a studio.  Or fixing a sewing machine on our kitchen’s bench.  Or cutting out fabric for curtains in the entrance hall or on the kitchen floor.

Beat The Man, hire out your own space for free, and be industrious from home!!

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Image via www. Waste-into-Wonder

 

Tinkering Tenacity

 

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Image Source:  www

 

“Tinkering, however, is not just the art of repairing what is broken. At its heart, it is a playful activity, tinged with a measure of risk, but absent any great consequences.”

Freddie Luchterhand-Dare ~ Senior Strategist at Landor

A Rude Record early February blog post opportunity. 

Our tinkering tenacity at Rude Record and Mend It, Australia has grown stronger as a result of meddling bureaucrats enforcing restrictions on our rights to participate in our local community. i.e.  if you don’t become a formal volunteer [under our control] you will not be permitted to play with the others. 

We find it troubling that many of the bureaucrats making decisions for our local communities do NOT actually live or play in them. We chuckle at the thought of a bureaucrat asking us to fix something for them.   They would not dare!

Refer to the link at the end of this blog post.  This may happen to be the best article on tinkering that we come across for 2018.  Time will tell.  Us RUDE Guys just had to share it, because it’s very well written and covers some interesting points, related to repairability in the digital age.

From the article as follows, and us RUDE Guys could not agree more:

“But it seems the long-silenced tinkerers are finding their voice again. A series of ‘protest’ movements are gathering pace globally, pushing back against this notion of ‘obsolescence by repair prevention.’ Far from niche, their call has increasing gravity. A loose army of consumer advocates, repairers and ordinary individuals – in other words, owners of all kinds of devices, from microwaves to toys – are now coalescing. “

“Of course, the complexity of some appliances (think a photocopier) has always been beyond the skills of the average spanner-wielding person.”

RUDE Boy had never fixed photocopiers in his life.  Decades ago, he took a job troubleshooting, servicing and repairing them for a year, saving the day for many frazzled office workers.  Oh, and he can wield a mean spanner too, and does not take kindly to bureaucrats, who haven’t got a clue about tinkering, telling him what he can and can’t do.

Beat The Man and keep developing your tenacity for tinkering. 

https://brandinginasia.com/cant-tinker-therefore-not-brands-tinkering-digital-age/

 

Mend It, Australia

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Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.  Amy Jo Martin

 

Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea, it’s a theory, it’s a meaning, it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational.  Kevin Plank

Us RUDE Guys have added a new concept to our brand that piggy backs off the ethos of Rude Record.  Mend It, Australia launches itself out in the community on the 10th February when we tinker travel, over an hour away from home, to volunteer at the Geelong Repair Cafe – Highton.

Our RUDE and Mend It branding reflects reducing consumption, reuse of available resources and the right to repair without interference.  Locally at Imagine Melton Zero Waste, we promote resource recovery and say no to landfill, preferring to champion alternatives, such as zero waste measures, like composting.

At Mend It, Australia Facebook page we showcase Australian and global mending, fixing and repairing events.  We post interest articles and videos about the mission to mend movement.  And most days, we also like to shout out about what we are reusing and repairing.  We hope our posts inspire our page followers to think twice before chucking things out and heading off to the mall to buy new.

As for this blog, RUDE Girl was writing a weekly blog post, however it looks like I will only be able to manage monthly/bimonthly this year, as we will be busy trekking around the countryside, participating in Repair Cafe events.

RUDE Boy has worked part-time for many years, as he is transitioning to retirement.  He has just told me he plans to fully retire this year in October [it’s not common knowledge yet, but who reads what I write anyways!]

We have been making some plans for this milestone forever really.  However, we started to focus more on it last year.  In 2017 we were involved in mending at Mend It, Melton [MIM] events in our local community but MIM did not work out for us.  Bureaucracy decided to take over and its reason for doing so failed to align with our Rude Record brand.   There are no more Mend It, Melton events in our local community, however I  still administrate the Facebook page here

Thanks to the bureaucratic meddling of Mend It, Melton, us RUDE Guys turned a rotten situation into a positive and voila, Mend It, Australia was created.  And our idea around flexible tinkering travel was born.

Stay posted for some stories back from our tinkering travels by following us daily on Rude Record or Mend It, Australia.

“BEAT THE MAN AND BRAND YOUR LIFESTYLE” ~ Karen Ellis aka RUDE Girl

Mend or End?

 

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Image Source: www

 

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RUDE Boy’s STIHL MS250 (42.5mm) chainsaw

Us RUDE [reusers (and repairers) of unloved discarded excess] Guys take great pride in maintaining our things.  We are not materialistic but we are true materialists.  We cherish, respect and care for the things that serve us well.

The STIHL chainsaw in the above photo was bought new by us about eight or nine years ago.   It has rarely been used and only for domestic use.  RUDE Boy was told and researched that STILH was the best for chainsaws.

Hell, this chainsaw was one of the few things we purchased new and it’s stuffed.  CACTUS!  Reinforces why we are not fans of spending big dollars on things that are manufactured to fail.  Yes, STIHL chainsaws are the best for planned obsolescence!  And yes, we will make sure we share our misfortune in an effort to warn others.

RUDE Boy took the chainsaw in for a service when it stopped working,  He was mortified when he was told the piston and bore had been scored and there was no compression.  He was then told it would cost over $AUD1,000 to repair it with STIHL parts.  Or $AUD670 with after market [generic] parts.

As in this article here [recommended reading], we were faced with the question of mend it or end it.  As we are the  Mend It, Australia team, we feel compelled to try and mend it, and share the experience on our Facebook page.

RUDE Boy has researched and ordered a motor from China for $AUD50.  He is reasonably confident he can replace the old motor with a new motor.  And hopefully, cross fingers and toes, this cheap part will make our hacked STIHL chainsaw serviceable again.

$AUD50 compared to $AUD1000 for repair is a huge difference.  We will try mending before ending.  It’s too early yet to say Beat The Man.  Stay posted.

Oh, and if we have to end it, because it does not work, we have been advised that ALDI sell a good domestic chainsaw for $AUD100.

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

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RUDE Girl mending the purple check flannelette shirt at Mend It, Melton on 8 April, 2017

Us RUDE Guys will head off to Mend It, Melton [MIM] this Saturday 13th May, 2017. We are collaborating with a local organisation to deliver our community’s unique model of mend and make do.

MIM was launched late last year, with a small mending event, at our local railway station in Melton, Victoria, Australia.  The event this weekend is our second for 2017.  MIM has scheduled monthly events up until the end of the year.

You can check out all about MIM and see the photos and videos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/menditmelton/

The re-blogged article below is recommended reading and validates why Rude Record is involved in the not-so-quiet repair revolution.  Beat The Man!!

Discard Studies

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Shutterstock/Fotos593

By Christine Cole, Nottingham Trent University and Alex Gnanapragasam, Nottingham Trent University

A not-so-quiet repair revolution is taking place in communities across Britain. Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Advances in technology and new applications, combined with faster product obsolescence, means that electrical and electronic equipment make up one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The growing demand for these products is also driving unprecedented levels of resource extraction to keep up with increased rates of manufacturing of everyday goods – something that the planet can hardly support.

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