#291 Don’t toss it; take it to the Repair Café

My command of Dutch is pretty rudimentary, but I get the drift of this site and think it’s absolutely fabulous. The Repair Café is where you take those small appliances, old chairs, ripped trousers or anything else that needs repair and get them fixed by volunteers.

Imagine! Usually we end up throwing something away when it is still 99% good because a part representing 1% of it or less has failed. The cost of repairs in comparison with the cost of buying a new model weighs into the equation, and one more item gets tossed into the rubbish bin.

Martine Postma is the visionary who launched the first Repair Café in October 2009. She saw that few people know how to repair things anymore, and that too many things were being thrown out because of that. So she opened a center where volunteers with skills offer their services to people whose

Now the Dutch Ministry of the Environment and the DOEN Foundation are offering support, with the hope Repair Cafés will open throughout the Netherlands. The subsidy buys tools and materials and covers the cost of a van that tours the country offering free repairs.

There’s a wonderful video with subtitles here and good articles about it in the New York Times and on canada.com. The latter says there are already 20 more Repair Cafés around the country, ahead of the goal of 18 by 2013, and another 50 in planning stages.

Think how much waste would stay out of landfills if there were Repair Cafés all over the world.

There are no subtitles in the video below, but you won’t need them. And you can learn more on their Web site, Twitter or Facebook.


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