Wired has an excellent article, We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement, that focuses on how repairing electronics is more than simply good for the environment; it's good for brains, it's good for our souls:
Ultimately, the real challenge here isn’t technological. It’s cultural. Can fixing be made sexy? Can we make it delightful to preserve things?
I think so. Recently my kids were hankering for a laptop. So we pulled a five-year-old Dell from a closet. After consulting some YouTube how-tos and the manual (Dell circulates those freely), we deduced that we needed a new heat sink, keyboard, and DVD drive. When the parts arrived, we opened the case and dove in.
And you know what? It was shockingly easy. In three hours we had the laptop running perfectly. We even removed the syphilitic mess of Windows Vista and installed Ubuntu. For $90 in parts, the kids have a laptop that runs like new. Best of all, we felt like we had unlocked superpowers. We demystified the machine. We became puzzle solvers and fought against the waves of trash. It was so much fun that now we’re taking in our neighbors’ busted laptops and fixing them too.
We started off upgrading a machine — and wound up upgrading ourselves.
Read the full article here -- it is sure to inspire you. And just in case you need more inspiration, here is what we at TreeHugger have had to say about the importance of repairing over replacing, and DIYing electronics:
Why Gadget Repairability Is So Damn Important
If you can't open it, you don't own it; and what's worse is that if you can't or won't open it, then you're not fully grasping the actual impact of and potential for that device. What is more, your creativity and inventiveness is tossed aside and you are told what you will want, when you will want it.
The DIY Ethic and Creating Technology Independence
The DIY trend equates to independence from manufacturers, equates to freedom of creativity, equates to environmental responsibility on a larger scale. Learning to build, repair, upgrade and modify gadgets is at the foundation of this independence.
How DIY Electronics Benefit The Environment
"DIYing both directly and indirectly benefits the planet; not only are resources saved by reusing parts and rebuilding gadgets, but also tasks accomplished with the newly created devices can be of use for everyone from scientists to the average home owner." Explore the benefits from citizen science to minimizing use of rare metals.
The DIY Ethic and Modern Technology: Why taking ownership of your electronics is essential
When it comes to fixing, building, hacking and modifying electronic devices and systems to our own advantage, we may have strayed; but a growing community of gadgeteers is helping to bring back not only the notion that we can indeed do our own thing but that we should.
How The DIY Electronics Trend Is Empowering People, Communities, Businesses
Many DIYers are breaking through those "warranty voided" stickers, digging through boxes of components, coming up with plans and prototypes for imaginative ideas for solving problems, and we're seeing amazing results in empowering individuals, communities and businesses to pursue their concepts.