Can I repair? Can iFixit?

A little while we wrote about the fantastic social initiative to help you divert everyday items from going to landfill by instead repairing them – the Repair Café.

These places are free, informal meeting places where visitors can bring in their broken items from home and together with onsite specialists (such as electricians, seamstresses, carpenters and bicycle mechanics) and start making the repairs. Since we wrote, two further Repair Cafes have been opened in Australia – Albury-Wodonga and in Seddon, Melbourne.

Another forum I have recently found to help people with the recovery and repair of items is the online platform called iFixit.

iFixit is a wiki-based site that provides guidance to people on how to fix a great number of consumer electronics and gadgets – everything from phones to PC’s to cars. It’s a public forum so anybody can create a repair manual and edit existing manuals for improvement. The site encourages users to share their technical knowledge within the global community.

There are loads of repair guides available online, examples include a guide to replacing the cracked or broken screen on your iPhone or installing a new optical drive in your PC.

The site also includes a question and answers forum, parts and tools store (yes they do ship to Australia) and user teardowns (how to dismantle device correctly).

Unfortunately, things do break or stop working but they are not always beyond repair. Next time you find yourself in this situation before you go down the landfill track ask yourself if you just might be able to salvage it – repair saves the environment and your pocket. If you really don’t think you can fix it someone else might be able to, on websites like gumtree you can list your unwanted item for free. Someone may just snap it up.