DIY
Do-it-yourself projects and plans for anyone who can swing a hammer.


Low- (or Zero-) Budget Shelter for a Stray Cat

Front view of cat shelter

When winter cold arrives, stray cats need a place to stay warm too. We have a stray cat with an injury hanging around our place. He or she won’t let us get close to it to treat it’s limp so we provide a meal a day and a warm place to sleep. But how to do that on a budget?

One solution came to us from a couple who also care for a stray cat. They built a double wall house by nesting two plastic storage containers, one inside the other, with straw for insulation between the walls. The lids were tied closed with cable ties to keep everything in place. A hole cut through the double wall allows the cat in and out. I thought that was a good idea but I didn’t want to spend the money on two storage containers so we repurposed a damaged ice chest. Cutting a hole through the wall at one end was easy with a reciprocating saw.

To make it a little more comfortable on those sub-zero nights, we put some loose straw inside. Opening the lid makes cleaning easy.

Top view of cat shelter

Bob Post is a mechanical engineer working in the waste-to-energy field. By day, he designs process machinery. By night, he is a recycler, composter, gardener and inventor. He contributed to the book How to Build, Maintain and Use a Compost System. Read all of Bob’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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Salvaging Urban Wood with a Portable Sawmill

The Wood Cycle lumber company

Perhaps no sector of the wood products industry is more environmentally significant than the recovery and utilization of urban sourced timber. Equally, much of the recovered urban wood would not be salvageable without the availability of portable sawmills like the Wood-Mizer LT40 Super Hydraulic owned and operated by Paul Morrison’s business The Wood Cycle of Wisconsin.

An engineer and technical writer, Paul says he didn’t intend to start a full-time operation when he purchased his first Wood-Mizer in 1994. “My business, like many, was a hobby that spun out of control,” Paul explains. “I purchased a used Wood-Mizer to saw lumber to support my woodworking hobby and soon learned sawing lumber was as fun as making the finished products. The lumber piles grew, so I started doing side projects and soon found myself going to my boss to tell him I would not be there much longer.”

 Home with custom wood interior

Fifteen years later, The Wood Cycle employs six people and produces hardwood lumber, custom furniture, cabinetry, millwork, artwork, and other products from logs recovered from small lots, street trees, yards, and other urban areas. “Finding logs to work from was never a challenge,” Paul says. “As a society we are strongly connected to the trees in our yards, from our family farms and the places we frequent. I built my business plan around preserving those memories by turning those trees into useful objects as the trees needed to come down.” Also, Paul continues, “In recent years, local has become the new marketing buzzword, and it plays perfectly into where we are positioned.”

Custom wood entertainment center

“The challenge in starting a business was not the sawing, but the side of building the business. As a technician myself, the marketing and business aspects of woodworking was more of a learning curve,” Paul remembers. “I suspect this is the weak point of most people starting a wood business, especially since we are more accustomed to making things we want rather than buying them. The real question is ‘What is that made thing worth to the person who buys things?’ It is this buyer who determines the market value. My biggest business error was taking too many years to learn this.”

Custom walnut dining table

The original sawmill has since been upgraded to an LT40 Super Hydraulic for its increased production capabilities and, Paul says, “We added a dehumidification kiln over the solar kiln so we could better control the drying process and to assure we heat sterilize the wood of any insects. I felt this was critical when we began selling wood instead of just supplying our own needs. Furthermore, due to the nature of working with urban logs, we hit plenty of nails and other interesting objects. So we probably use our sharpener more than some sawyers would need, but the price and quality of Wood-Mizer DoubleHard blades is a great fit for us.”

Wood-Mizer LT40 portable sawmill

Custom wooden cabinets in kitchen

Paul says he is satisfied with the size of his business and is now directing his passion towards growing public awareness of the value of urban wood. “If I continue growing I will no longer get to play with the wood myself, and that is not why I quit the day job,” he says. “Instead, I am looking at ways in which we can grow this urban wood marketing concept.” Toward that end, Paul recently completed a book describing and defining the growing urban woodworking industry. “The farm to table movement is hopping,” said Paul. “People fully understand the concept and value of buying local. ‘Tree to Table; Emergence of the Urban Wood Movement’ is aimed at helping this audience understand those same local options are increasingly available from sawyers and craftsmen in their area, possibly working from their own trees."

Custom wooden dresser

Wood-Mizer, founded in 1982, is the leading manufacturer of portable band sawmills and offers an extensive line of portable and industrial mills, blades, resaws, and edgers covering a wide range of cutting capabilities. The company has sold more than 50,000 sawmills worldwide. For more information about Wood-Mizer Products, call 800.553.0182 or visit woodmizer.com.


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Ways To Use Up Yarn Scraps

scrap yarn stash

If you are an avid knitter or crocheter like I am, you will inevitably at some point end up with a stash of scrap yarn, left over from various projects, which you cannot bear to throw away. Fear not, however - those little odds and ends can be used in a variety of creative ways which will leave your craft cabinet looking a lot more orderly. 

The obvious way to use small quantities of yarn would be to make little things like dishcloths, pot holders, doilies, baby booties and hats, but sometimes you don't even have enough yarn of one kind for that. So what next?

Dolls and doll clothes - There are lots of cute patterns online for adorable tiny dolls that the children in your life will love. You can also make clothes for old beloved dolls. 

Pompoms and tassels - Nothing can be easier than making a pompom. Just wind your yarn around your fingers (or an assistant's fingers - one of my kids is always happy to volunteer for this) until you have a thick full yarn ring. Gently slip the yarn ring off, tie in the middle with a bit of same yarn, cut the edges, trim and fluff.

Gift wrapping - Bow-tied pieces of yarn go great with rustic-style paper packaging and handmade gifts such as natural body care products, spice blend bags, or mason jars full of baked goodies. 

Bookmarks - A knitted or crocheted bookmark is a thoughtful, personal gift that can be whipped up in a flash. It's basically just a long rectangle made in any pattern you like. 

Hair bands - Knitted or crocheted hair bands are an accessory that will add a touch of individuality to the plainest outfit. Bonus points if you make them to match your favorite sweater. 

Crocheted flowers - These are super quick and easy to make, take up very little yarn, and can be used to decorate pretty much anything, such as hats, hair accessories, bags, and clothes. There are many beautiful patterns online which you will never get tired of making (I always add new ones to my Pinterest board to try later).

Pincushions - These can be made in a variety of shapes and stuffed with extra bits of scrap yarn. 

Colorful collage - Use yarn scraps for a quiet, low-mess activity with your kids. All you need is a piece of art paper, glue stick, and yarn. Create shapes with glue, stick yarn onto them, and display the artwork. This is great for really tiny scraps that you can't think of using in any other way. 

Yarn leftovers are perfect for exercising your inner artist and having fun. I sometimes find that I look forward to using up my scrap stash almost more than working on a big project, and challenge myself to put it all to use before I buy any new yarn.

Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna, her husband and their four children live on the outskirts of a small town in northern Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author PageConnect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blogRead all Anna's Mother Earth News posts here.


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Reliable and Simple: A ‘Right to Repair’ Ode and Kitchen Story


Recently when I was at my dentist and while vulnerably perched in the operational chair, the hygienist pitched me the opportunity to purchase an electric toothbrush. Not just any high-performance aid to prophylaxis, mind you, but one that was also Bluetooth-connected to your smart phone to record your personal bests in competitive brushing.

A few notions crossed my mind, to wit: Why would anyone want such a thing? and How long will that baby last? and Can it be fixed? (Probably not.)

Questioning Hyper-Connected Smart Appliances

It truly is a wonder how we got here. Why would anyone think that putting sophisticated electronics and an Internet-connected computer into a damp and vibrating environment like a washing machine is a good idea? Or how about the non-repairable $1,000 cell phone in which the manufacturer intentionally downgrades its previous product’s capability to force owners to buy newer models?

And do we really need a refrigerator with a “smart device” implanted that will provide the user with remote alerts if the fridge door is open or the temperature drops or lets the user engage the "SuperCool" function from the grocery store to rapidly chill the freezer in preparation for storing frozen foods? Or how about contact services if any diagnostic codes pop up due to product failure or user error? How did we ever get by?

It wasn’t that long ago, at least geologically speaking, when American household appliances were considered the gold standard of both practical durability and reliability. Unlike the Rube Goldberg approach of many of today’s implements — where machines seem to be intentionally designed to perform a task in an indirect, complex and over-complicated fashion — older designs tended to be clean and simple in their approach.

The goal was to simply do one job really well.

There were good solid reasons for this. One was likely that the head of household duties, after years of drudgery and toil in the kitchen, was not about to put up with short-lived and slipshod construction. The other might be that the implement was an industrial rental.

Electronics Durability Exemplified

An example of the later is the venerable black ITT rotary dial wall phone that has hung on the kitchen wall here since at least 1974. It is still hard-wired to the independent Unity Telephone Company that still maintains the wires and switching equipment that understands the pulse of the dial.

These phones grace walls all over the rural five town empire that is now Unitel. And although the company gave up on charging rental on these phones decades ago, they still run like new. The reliability was a business decision: Service calls cost money. You can drive nails with the hand set and any bad component is easily replaced in a minute with a screw driver.

These humble pieces of telephony and the system are incredibly reliable and resilient. Indeed during the great ice storm of 1998, when most of  Maine was without power for weeks, the land lines backed up by battery power kept humming along — even when the lines were laying on the ground encased in ice.

These units just do one thing: make and receive telephone calls. It won’t take photos or text, but if you want to contact someone without wondering how many bars you have or having to ask “can you hear me now?” there is much to say for this bulletproof technology.

Simplicity and Reliability Should be the Hallmarks of Good Design

While we are on the matter of telecommunications, let us consider the original wireless accessory, the radio. There is something magical about a device that can capture voice and music signal out of the ether, broadcast either from across town or from halfway around the planet. And for free. An instrument so simple a Cub Scout can assemble a usable set out of spare parts in minutes, alligator clip a wire to say, the finger stop of the aforementioned telephone, put on a pair of earphones and voila! They are instantaneously receiving a broadcast.

A radio set built a century ago will still work today picking up the frequencies it was designed to receive. Unlike today’s baroque communication apparatus, radio is incredibly secure — no one can track your profile, steal your credit card number or know where you are. So secure and stealthy, in fact, spies still utilize the primitive “counting” codes that are sometimes heard on short wave. No avaricious tech giant can figure out a way to charge you to use your radio or disable it by changing a bit of code.

Right to Repair in the Kitchen

But, back to the humble kitchen appliance. Let us consider the robust and elegantly simple, circa-1940 “Juice King” industrial, heavy-duty manual citrus juicer.

Its Art Deco cast body is good looking and tougher than a boiled owl. To operate, place glass under spout. Lift lever to open top, insert orange, and push down on lever and presto: orange juice. Want more? Insert another orange and repeat process. When done, simply wash out the strainer, end of story. And it’s cordless.

But perhaps the best example of the fusion of handsome simplicity, reliability and repairability is the 1940 Toastmaster bread toaster.

My parents received this unit for a wedding present in 1940 and it has been generated perfectly toasted bread slices every day since then. The outer polished nickel shell sports an optimistic ambiance reminiscent of the Maine Central Flying Yankee streamliner locomotive. (Or maybe a vintage Airstream trailer.)

To operate the machine, simply insert bread slices (no bagels or croissants need apply). Push down the lever to charge the clockwork timer mechanism. To select either dark or light, turn the little indicator to (yes) dark or light. This changes the clockwork speed. When the timer reaches the end of its run it trips the ejection trigger and up pops the toast. To clean out crumbs, back out two little thumb screws and bottom plate comes off for speedy detritus removal.

If repair is needed (which is almost never), the outer shell is easily removed from the chassis for access to all the simple mechanisms. My father, who always believed that any good product would be rapidly replaced with one of lesser quality, purchased a junker model so he would have access to repair parts. It still resides in the loft above my shop, untouched.

So what does this odd assortment of products have in common? They are reliable, contain no exotic components, they do exactly what they were intended to do and no more. They use little or no electric power. And because they last so long, the embodied energy cost (i.e. the sum of all the energy, not to mention CO2 emissions, required to produce any goods or services) that was used to make them is considerably less than if the same product was purchased again and again. And, best of all, they are all easily repairable.

Importance of the Right to Repair Movement

And repairability is a big deal. We have all owned shoddy appliances that have given up the ghost right after the too short warranty runs out. Or one that probably could be brought back to life if the manufacturer hadn’t welded the machine together, or had refused to provide access to parts and/or repair instructions. The user has little choice to put the gadget into a recycling bin and buy another.

There may be some possibility of hope on the horizon, as in the European Union and at least 18 U.S. states have introduced “right to repair” legislation. European environmental ministers are hoping to force manufacturers to make appliances with greater longevity and that are easier to repair.

California has proposed their version of a “Right to Repair Act”, which would require electronics manufacturers to make repair information and parts available to product owners and to third-party repair shops and services. Needless to say, manufacturers are chary of these attempts citing safety, security concerns and even possibly discouraging innovation. There will likely be strong push back by lobbyists in legislatures worldwide to any laws that might impinge on corporate profit.

In the meantime, it will be up to the consumer to pose these questions to the manufacturer (and to themselves): 1. Is this device really necessary and worth the money? and 2. Is it at least as good as a 1940 toaster?

Photos by Greg Rossel

Greg Rossel builds, repairs, writes about, and teaches about boats in Maine. He also has produced a world music radio program on WERU-FM for 30 years. Connect with Greg Rossel Boat Company on Facebook, and read all of Greg’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Making Liquid Castile Soap From Bars

 

I'm sure you've seen how much money you can save when you make your own products using liquid castile soap.  Or that you can make so many homemade products with liquid castile soap that you'll stop buying hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent or even shampoo at the store. 

While there are so many benefits to using liquid castile soap, it can come with a larger price tag than I would like to pay.  I know over the long run that it's cheaper than buying store bought items to make your own.  But, I also know that you can buy castile soap bars really cheap online or in grocery stores.

Making hard soap into liquid

I started searching online to see if there was a way to easily turn bar soap into liquid soap.  Turns out, there were multiple ways to do this.  I wanted it to be simple and easy, with kitchen equipment that I have on hand (not the immersion blender that I don't own).  I read several articles about the "right" way to do it and decided to try it my own way.

The hard soap needs to get hot enough to melt, then hot water is added to it.  The two are blended together and then allowed to cool before being put into a storage container. 

The soap gets hot the fastest when chopped up into smaller pieces.  To do this, I grated my bars of soap using the large holes of my cheese grater. I grated them directly into my crock pot.

Once in the crock pot, I added six cups of HOT water.  Like, steaming hot water.  Then I cranked my crock pot on high.  After an hour, the soap was melted.  I stirred the two together with a whisk and turned my crockpot off.  I pulled the pot out of my crockpot and let it cool on the counter for about an hour. 

I wanted to make sure that it was really going to stay liquid before I poured it into my gallon plastic jug that I was planning on storing it in.  After an hour, it was cool enough to handle and was still completely liquid.

Using a funnel, I carefully poured the newly liquid castile soap into the plastic jug.  A week later, and it's still completely liquid! 

Why use liquid castile soap?

As I mentioned before, there are a ridiculous amount of recipes online for making household cleaners, detergents and even products like shampoo or body wash using liquid castile soap. Castile soap is made from olive oil.  There aren't harsh chemicals in it, and it's way more natural than over the counter cleaners.

Dr. Bronner's is the brand that comes to mind when I see liquid castile soap.  This is the brand that usually comes with the more expensive price tag.  Don't get me wrong, Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap will last a long time and is a good value, but if I can make it myself and save a little money, I'm going to.

That's when I noticed that you can purchase hard bars of castile soap cheaply and make liquid castile soap at home. The hardest part about making the liquid soap was grating it.  I grated three bars and, even though it grated easily, my arms got a workout!  You could definitely chop the pieces up with a knife and just put them into your crockpot.

Putting the soap in the crockpot was easy and didn't lead to a huge mess. The crockpot was super easy to clean afterwards, I guess from all of that soap! 

Spend a few bucks and buy some castile soap bars.  Turn them into liquid and start having fun making your own cleaners, foaming hand soaps, laundry detergents and shampoo.  You'll save money and feel better about the products you're using on yourself and your home.


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Sew a DIY Backback with These Resources for 3 Backback Styles

Two Women Mounain Hiking Summit

Photo courtesy the author by rawpixel

This year alone, 88 million Americans are planning on a family getaway. While traveling with the family, it can be overwhelming trying to keep track of everyone’s clothes and toys and snacks. In addition to the chaos of carting around everyone’s belongings, providing everyone, from parents to kids, with their own luggage can be expensive.

Instead, try a more creative approach. Making your own backpacks can be an inexpensive, effective way to keep track of everyone’s things. It can also be a more creative way to express yourself as you design your own apparel.

Drawstring Bags

The simplest DIY backpacks can be worn while still closing tightly to keep your things safe. Drawstring bags use drawstrings that loop over the shoulders and close the mouth of the bag at the same time. It’s an ideal bag for carrying things that you won’t need for a while, because the style of the bag keeps your things safe on your back but just out of reach.

These bags are easier to sew than many other varieties, and give you the option of choosing the style of drawstring--from ribbon to shoelace to cord--that you want as well as the type of fabric. If you pick a simpler fabric, consider adding a sewn or an iron on decal to your bag. A flower, cute animal face, or band logo can add a great personal touch to an otherwise simple bag.

Keep in mind that the drawstring bag tends to wrinkle, especially near the top, so sew your decals accordingly.  

Over-the-Shoulder Bags

Another fairly easy bag to make is the DIY over the shoulder bag. While this one isn’t technically a backpack, it has a lot of potential for personalization, and can carry as much as you design it to. One of the best aspects of this type of bag is that it can be made reversible. By using two different styles of fabric sewn together, you can create two bags in one.

Use a fun, tropical pattern on one side for a family vacation on the beach, and switch it out (and empty out any lingering sand) to a bold pattern for walking through the city. An over-the-shoulder bag has the potential for added pockets, and the relatively flat surfaces it offers can make customization even easier.

While it doesn’t have a sealing feature like the drawstring bag does, the bag’s opening is right under your arm, making for a relatively safe bag that’s easy to access. For a little extra security, you can add an extra strap with a button or Velcro to seal the bag across the opening. Consider lengthening the strap to cross your chest instead of simply going over your shoulder, if that’s more your style.

The Full Backpack

If you’re feeling bold, it’s possible to make your own backpack, complete with clasps, straps, and different sized pockets. This option is the most difficult and time-consuming of the options listed here, but it can also be the most extensively personalized. You will need to purchase several different kinds of fabric and materials, which means more color and style options.

You will also have the option to fit the backpack to your own measurements, which, when done right, can be extremely rewarding. The full backpack has the advantage of distinct pockets, which the other bags are lacking. This means you can have one pocket designated for snacks, one for sunscreen, and one for souvenirs that you pick up on your travels.

Depending on your fabric, backpack might also be the most durable of the options listed here, so if you’re more of a hiking family than a band of beach bums, consider this option. In short, if you’re looking for a challenge, try to make your own full backpack.

Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on natural health cures and news, budgeting hacks, and favorite DIY projects. When she's not writing, she's chasing her little ones around or can be found rock climbing at her local climbing gym. Connect with Mikkie @DollarHacks on Twitter.


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Understanding the 'Right to Repair' Movement and Why It Matters

 

Guy Mills, a farmer in Ansley, Nebraska, remembers a time when he could repair his equipment without seeking professional help. "If we had a problem with our John Deere, we could fix it ourselves.

No longer," he explains, and others have supported his sentiment. Tractors, coffee makers, laundry machines, mobile devices and even simple children's toys are now far more challenging to fix — but why?

Some might attribute it to the complexity of these items, with more advanced design, but this is far from the truth. Shareholder disclosures from Apple reveal the actual reason behind the shift, as the company views the longevity of its products as a direct threat to sustaining profitability. The money they make off repairs and replacements — and the reliance of their customers — represents a steady stream of revenue.

Unfortunately for Apple, and other large corporations, the "Right to Repair" movement is gaining momentum. More than a dozen states have introduced right to repair legislation, founded on the belief that consumers shouldn't have to depend on companies to repair their personal property. This legislation would mandate design decisions which facilitate independent servicing, as well as access to manuals and parts.

So why is the right to repair movement important, and what implications does it have for consumer goods? We'll walk you through everything you need to know about both sides of the argument, examining the subject in greater depth.

The battle between grassroots fighters and well-funded corporate lobbies will have an impact on the country's future, relevant to everyone regardless of their position, and we'll explain why.

The 'Right to Repair' Movement in the U.S.

While the fight is still underway in the United States, across the Atlantic, the European Parliament has already passed a motion calling for regulation on manufacturers. In acknowledgment of European citizen's "right to repair," these manufacturers will have to design their products to be more easily repairable.

Progress has moved at a slower pace in the States, with fierce opposition from many of nation's leading brands. Beyond Apple, Microsoft and John Deere have shown reluctance to accept the change, and organizations intent on new legislation have met resistance. Regardless, lawmakers are on the side of consumers.

Last March, Californian Assemblywoman Susan Eggman introduced a bill which would require manufacturers to release repair instructions and make parts available to product owners and repair shops. While the "California Right to Repair Act" is important, it could prove difficult to pass.

The Argument Against 'Right to Repair'

In truth, manufacturers prefer to maintain control over their products for as long as possible, enjoying the profit from a sale long after the initial transaction. While Apple holds the public position that repairing a device without professional help could compromise the user's security, their past actions don't reflect this.

To provide just one example, Apple sued the owner of a small electronics repair shop in Norway over aftermarket iPhone screens. The owner in question, Henrik Huseby, decided to fight the case, and though Apple made a desperate effort to settle the matter out of court, Huseby persisted and won.

His lawyer, Per Harald Gjerstad, made a statement which sums up the subject well. "In this case, Apple indirectly proves what they really want... They want monopoly on repairs so they can keep high prices. And they therefore do not want to sell parts to anyone other than 'to themselves.'"

The Importance of the Movement

As devices become more and more difficult to repair, the number of electronics which consumers throw away continues to grow at an exponential rate. In consideration of the fact we produced 44.7 million metric tons of this toxic "e-waste" in 2016 alone, the right to repair is crucial to preserving the environment.

This remains one of the strongest arguments for right to repair legislation, as it would divert large amounts of e-waste from landfills. Consumers who have the option of repairing their electronic devices instead of discarding them will save money and reduce their impact. This isn't the only benefit, of course, and there are others.

Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural professionals will have access to equipment and service parts for their machinery, reducing their maintenance expenses by a significant margin. If they have the knowledge and experience necessary to repair their vehicles themselves, they'll cut costs and return to work more quickly.

Guy Mills, the farmer we mentioned earlier, wouldn't have to turn to a John Deere dealer to service his machinery. Additionally, he'd be able to retrofit old equipment with new features, which would make it far easier to meet new standards of environmental compliance. Otherwise, he's limited in his options.

The Repairs Outside the Movement

The right to repair movement accounts for a broad spectrum of equipment, appliances and devices, but it doesn't encompass everything. There are few types of repair which lawmakers aren't particularly concerned with, like those which are too complicated or technical for the average person to handle.

For example, damage to printed circuit boards is beyond the ability of most people outside technical fields. If a PCB falls to the ground and shatters, most amateurs aren't capable of completing the remanufacturing process, melting down broken sections and moving through disassembly and reassembly.

While the right to repair covers a diverse range of items, some technology is best left to the professionals. Still, with new legislation, consumers will find they're in no way limited in the equipment, appliances and devices they can repair. After all, these regulations are meant to give you more options, not fewer.

Looking Toward the Future

Looking toward the future, the right to repair movement isn't likely to lose momentum. With support from lawmakers, we're going to see change, and we're going to see it soon.

The "California Right to Repair Act" is only the beginning, and though there's still a long way to go, the country is making progress.

Kayla Matthews has been writing about healthy living for several years and is proud to be a featured writer on a number of inspiring health sites, including Mother Earth News. To learn more about Kayla, you can follow her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter and check out her most recent posts on ProductivityTheory.com.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.







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