DIY : A Thriving Dinosaur in a Land of Robots – Cindy Bingham – Medium

Ours is a world driven by technology.

“A robot named Pepper holding an iPad” by Alex Knight on Unsplash

The number of social media sites proliferates daily. Robotics now influences food preparation, farming techniques, and international warfare. Sophisticated computers can inhabit wrist-sized watches. Wireless communications allow people to see and hear those on the other side of the globe.

But take a cursory glance at one of social media’s most popular sites — Pinterest — and you will find a dinosaur among the robots.

Photo by Umanoide on Unsplash

Do-It-Yourselfers, entities as old as time itself, are not only still existing, they are thriving.

Why is this “archaic” group alive and well?

One reason is that the DIY-er uses creativity to solve a problem or make life better. A person with the DIY bug looks at life as a puzzle for which he or she must create the missing piece.

Q: How can I encourage my kids to spend time at home this summer?

A: Buy a galvanized stock tank and convert it to a swimming pool. Or take pavers, sand, and stone to create a firepit and then host a party for my tween’s friends.

Q: How can I get rid of the poison ivy that’s growing up the sycamore tree in my yard without calling a professional or using an herbicide whose ingredients I can’t pronounce?

A: Spend a few minutes online to find a recipe for a homemade herbicide that uses common household ingredients. Mix up the concoction. Put it in a hand-pump sprayer. Wage war on the ivy.

After conquering the backyard pool and the troublesome ivy, the DIY-er dusts off his or her hands and relishes the accomplishment.

As long as both creative people and life problems exist (and they always will), the world of DIY will, too.

The “green movement,” which encompasses everything from using eco-friendly packaging, to recycling, to reducing one’s carbon footprint, to repurposing, is another reason for the popularity of DIY.

DIY-ers thrive on finding ways to use what they have or have access to in order to create something that they need or want.

One example of this repurpose-what-you-have mentality is the reuse of wooden palettes.

These ubiquitous palettes, used in shipping everything from food to factory machines, are often discarded by companies once their shipped items arrive. What a waste of wood.

DIY-ers to the rescue. Another quick glance through Pinterest will net dozens of examples of how these “scavenger creatives” take this source of wood and transform it into porch swings, headboards, bed frames, dressers, coffee tables, backyard fences, garden enclosures, and so much more.

But the DIY earth-friendly mode doesn’t end with a palette. Eco warriors with the “I can do that” mentality create composters and rain collectors from recycled food-safe plastic barrels.

They turn old end tables into toy stations for kids and wool sweaters into dryer balls that eliminate the need for fabric softener sheets.

Photo by Alex Holt on Unsplash

One DIY project involves a plastic pencil box, the kind you can find tucked away in a closet or at almost any yard sale; a shoestring; and roasting forks used for campfires.

By cutting a circle into one end of the pencil box and drilling two holes in the bottom of it, one DIY-er formed the perfect cover for her roasting forks. No more does she worry about those fork tines jabbing anything during storage or transport. A genius way to breathe new life into a spare item.

Repurposing something not only extends its usefulness, but it also lessens the amount of trash generated. Less trash equals less landfill space needed and more room for trees, plants, animals, and people.

Because the DIY-er does his or her part to save the planet, DIY projects will thrive even in a technological world.

Some who espouse DIY do so because they want a particular task to be done in a certain way or to a certain standard — theirs — and they can’t find or don’t trust others to live up to their expectations.

In some instances, these folks are perfectionists with unrealistic standards.

More often, I suspect, they are people who expect workers to arrive when they say they will, do the work they’ve been paid to do, and create a quality finished product. Additionally, they desire laborers who respect the property of others by not tramping through flower beds, leaving cigarette butts in the driveway, or tracking mud through the house.

A recent episode in hiring a contractor to pour some concrete for a sidewalk makes me believe as I do. The man who agreed to do the work never presented us with a contract before he arrived on the first day. Then over the next few days, he told us he would be at our home at a certain time and wasn’t. Once, he came at a time my husband had told him was not convenient. He ignored text messages and phone calls. Finally, we ended our arrangement with him before the work was finished.

We eventually got the sidewalk. But the concrete crew consisted of my husband, the concrete delivery truck driver, and a few friends who agreed to help. How did it turn out? Just fine. Far better than it would have otherwise, I’m sure.

DIY-ers believe that in some cases, the old adage is true: “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.”

Saving money is another reason that the DIY dinosaur flourishes even in an age of computers and robots.

Why spend $10 for laundry detergent powder when you can make your own for less than half that amount?

Why take your car to the local garage and pay someone to change the oil when you can change it yourself at a fraction of the cost with only a few basic supplies?

Why pay extra for the foaming type of hand soap when you can refill the pump bottle with a mixture of liquid soap and water and have three times the amount of soap?

For years, DIY-ers have been asking these questions and countless others like them.

As healthcare and other expenses rise, many people are looking for ways to cut costs, especially if their earnings remain static. Doing certain projects for yourself can be the way to save money on necessities and free up funds for extras.

DIY projects offer cost-effective ways to furnish your home, care for your skin, save on food costs, and store items you already have. These endeavors range from five-minute tasks to week-long projects, and may be suited for children or adults.

Unlike the T-rex, which met its demise long ago due to climate change, the DIY dinosaur remains. Its habitat may be different than in years past, but it has withstood the technology upheaval and will continue to do so.

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