You might as well throw on a red cape and tights if you plan on attending the DIY Academy. There, you can save the environment, meet new people, and learn something new—all in a night's work. The DIY (or Do It Yourself) Academy promotes a self-sufficient lifestyle by offering workshops on skills such as creating your own nontoxic cleaning supplies, self-defense, and even making your own pads (yes, I mean panty liners). The academy is run by the people of the Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP) at the Richard Hugo House. "We want to have fun and build community, but we want everything to have a positive social change," says Raleigh Briggs, a volunteer instructor for DIY. Briggs, who taught a workshop on cleaning supplies and another on knitting, says learning new skills and teaching others your talents to better the community beats protesting and writing nasty letters to leaders. The academy, which is a series of about 30 summer workshops, started on June 6 and will wrap up Aug. 16. This is its first year, but they plan on making it an annual summer series. Each workshop instructor is a volunteer who sent an application to ZAPP and, from there, chose a skill to bring to the table. Although the academy is coming to an end, there are still a few workshops left: vegan baking, fancy sewing, zine making, and the ever-popular silk screening and pronto plate printing, which has been one of the more popular workshops. Workshops, which cost $5 each, are an hour to an hour and a half long and are limited to about 15 students. Until the next workshop: "DIY or Die." Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 206-322-7030, www.hugohouse.org/diy.