Most people have heard the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

However, there are three more “Rs” in front of it with which most aren’t familiar: “rethink, repair, refuse.”

The six-term phrase sure has a lot of application these days, especially when uttered in the face of an environment challenged by a surging economy, a pending trade war with mass-manufacturing China, and — thankfully — heightened awareness of climate change.


In short, the message of uber-organizer Marie Kondo has never been more relevant.

So, after you drop off at Tahoe Hospice Gift & Thrift the items no longer bringing you joy, Truckee Roundhouse is here to help you abide by a few more of those “Rs.”

The nonprofit makerspace, located at Truckee Tahoe Airport, has become the region’s epicenter of creative reuse and crafty imagination, giving experienced and novice carpenters, tin-knockers, and artisans a welcoming place to make noise, mold clay, and throw sparks.

In short, it provides Truckee and North Tahoe with the ultimate anti-consumer resource for everything from furniture to serving bowls.

Even if you’re not concerned about your consumer footprint, know that you can get a great deal of personal satisfaction from sitting in your own ski Adirondack loveseat, as I did, or hanging a laser-engraved address plaque for your house or business. Maybe you won’t have to donate your old-school, black and mauve CB ski parka after being brought up to speed on fabric repair on one of the textile shop’s industrial sewing machines.

Wood shop instructor Brent Ferrera, a retired contractor and active dad, recently walked me through a three-day course for the aforementioned loveseat, which now sits stoutly on my deck, tips barely visible under the aftermath of February’s atmospheric rivers.

For those worried about their ability to manage a DeWalt double-bevel sliding compound miter saw, rest assured that if I can do it, well, you know the rest.

While I grew up around muscle car mechanics, the extent of my family’s carpentry prowess was limited to how many rolls of duct tape or tubes of wood glue we had in the house. (Needless to say, I had the gluing part of my project dialed in.)

I’m quite proud of what Brent helped me build, and the newfound confidence I have around large, motorized cutting implements.

The wood for the loveseat was sourced from discarded house siding. The skis came from a pile of outdated boards accumulated by a friend after years of ski coaching, moving, and roommates. And if there’s one thing that can be reused, repaired, recycled, and refused around Truckee, it’s another pair of skis.

The organization also offers classes on general appliance repair and maintenance, providing locals a chance to dodge major expenses for items that aren’t sustainably manufactured or cheap to buy or replace.

The Truckee Roundhouse bridges creativity and need, and matches ambition with training. Its users can fabricate and outfit their homes and lives without spending much more than time, and while adhering to the tenets of sustainable capitalism.

Go out and make something for yourself, spend less, and do a little good for your community. Make Ms. Kondo proud.


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