MILLS RIVER, N.C. — A Repair Cafe is an event where you’ll find volunteers with tools and supplies, available to fix broken household objects at no cost, while offering instruction in the form of hands-on help.
Living Web Farms in Mills River, NC will host WNC Repair Cafe for six events in 2020. For each event, the public is invited to bring in anything from torn clothes and rusty tools to broken appliances and troublesome small engines. Volunteers will be available for assistance with tools and supplies, coffee, healthy snacks and good conversation.
There are many reasons why one may bring a broken object to a Repair Cafe. It’s a free service, so saving money is certainly on many people’s minds. Many may come with a sense of environmental stewardship or old-fashioned thriftiness and intuitively sense something wrong with throwing something in a landfill that may still have some use. Some have heirloom objects and don’t know where else to go. Repair Cafes work on deeper levels too: if you visit one you’ll see it’s about sharing the skills and building confidence to take on repairs of your own. In the context of consumer-debt driven economy and a throw-away culture, Repair Cafes are all about building community resilience.
The first Repair Cafe was held in October 2009 in Amsterdam, and was so successful that founder Martine Postma continued organizing several Repair Cafe meetings at different locations throughout Amsterdam. By 2010 she had founded the Repair Cafe Foundation. Now there are over 2000 Repair Cafes operating on six continents.
In the media, Repair Cafes are often touted as a means of preventing one’s household goods from going to the landfill. While this may seem insignificant, on a personal level, the impact of saving money while gaining the confidence to take on repairs of one’s own can be very significant. Volunteers with technical skills that are not always seen as valuable have an opportunity to give back, by passing on their knowledge to those that can appreciate it. A shift away from throwaway culture emboldens professional repair shops and helps create markets for spare parts. Ultimately, consumers may demand products that are built to last.
It’s on a community scale where Repair Cafes are most effective at organizing grassroots resistance to the throwaway culture. They are places where skills are shared, questions are asked – “should I repair or replace?” – and where nuanced conversations about sustainability and resilience are the result.
The first WNC Repair Cafe of 2020 will be held Tuesday, February 25th, from 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Living Web Farms’ Biochar Facility at 220 Grandview Ln, Hendersonville NC.
Full Length article available at: http://livingwebfarms.org/wnc-
Early registration increases the chance of a successful repair. Sign up at www.livingwebfarms.org/
Visit our website for more details: www.livingwebfarms.org/
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For questions and volunteer information contact Dan Hettinger at WNCRepairCafe@gmail.com
–Living Web Farms