Broken zipper? Faulty clock radio? A toaster that won’t pop? Zero Waste Sooke’s Repair Cafe is your answer to the throwaway culture.
Because it was so much fun the first time, we’re again rallying local volunteer fixers for a second Sooke Repair Cafe, Sat. Oct. 21 from 9 am to 1 p.m. downstairs at the Sooke Community Hall.
The premise remains the same: If you have something that isn’t working right, bring it to the Cafe and someone will try and help you get it back to working condition. The service is free, but you’re also invited to bang our gong (literally) to celebrate a successful repair, then drop a tip into the donation jar.
Volunteers are confirmed for bicycle repairs, wood and furniture, textiles and fabrics, and small appliances. Experts will also be offering workshops on tool maintenance and the art of converting old t-shirts into shopping bags. Triston Line and EMCS Robotics students will again demonstrate 3D printing and the mind-boggling potential of this new technology.
Additional volunteer fixers are welcome! If you’d like to participate in this cafe or a future one, please check in with our team leads Bernie and Wendy at email@example.com.
Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be served. All welcome to drop by, hang out and enjoy the occasion. Our first Cafe in the spring was a blast! (read about it here: http://zerowastesooke.ca/good-vibes-great-turnout-for-debut-repair-cafe).
Our Repair Cafe coincides with the final days of Waste Reduction Week in Canada, organized annually by recycling groups across Canada (including the Recycling Council of British Columbia). This year’s week has daily themes. Through a happy coincidence, the date we picked back in the spring turns out to be the national “swap, share and repair” day.
Anything that is broken is fair game: Lamps, hair dryers, clothes, electronic appliances, furniture, bikes, toys and crockery included. No guarantees, but the odds are good that these items can be repaired by our fixers. And if not, well, it was broken anyway and it didn’t cost you anything.
“Many of us have forgotten that they can have things repaired or have been convinced by manufacturers that its somehow easier to buy the latest, greatest models,” explains ZWS coordinator Wendy O’Connor. “These cafés are a fantastic reminder that we can maintain our possessions over the long term.”
Repair Cafés have become increasingly popular around the world since the first was held in Amsterdam in 2009. Several now take place regularly on Vancouver Island. Zero Waste Sooke, a working group of Transition Sooke, operates under license with Repair Café International.
O’Connor notes that the cafés also promote skill training as experts share their know-how with those keen to learn. “It’s an ongoing learning process for everyone involved,” she says. “If you have nothing to repair, you’re still welcome to drop in, check things out and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Better still, you might be handy enough that you can help out with someone else’s repair job!”
It almost goes without saying that repairing items rather than junking them saves money and resources and minimizes the CO2 emissions that result from the manufacturing process. Above all, says O’Connor, “we just want to show how much fun repairing things can be and how easy it often is.”
Thanks to the District Of Sooke for funding support through its Community Grants program.