Fix it or throw it away? Often when something rips or shows wear or breaks, the impulse is to send it to the landfill and buy something new.
It’s a waste of the material and energy it took to produce the item. Repair Café BG encourages people to fix what they have instead of throwing it away.
On Saturday, July 16, a Repair Café will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 20189 N. Dixie Highway, Bowling Green.
Volunteer repairers, equipped with tools and equipment, will be available to help with any possible repairs free of charge.
People visiting Repair Café BG can bring their broken items from home – toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, toys, dishes, anything broken is welcome and can most likely be repaired.
If the specialists at Repair Café BG cannot repair the item, they can advise you on what the local company could repair.
Nick Hennessey, BGSU’s sustainability manager, said at the last coffee shop held at the campus earth fair in April, he brought a favorite Irish knit sweater that had moth holes in it. He was amazed at how tight the holes were. Like new, he said.
By promoting repairs, Repair Café BG wants to help reduce the mountains of waste. It’s absolutely necessary, according to organizer Jennifer Karches. “We’re throwing loads of stuff in Wood County. Even things that have practically nothing wrong with them, which could easily be reused after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can get things fixed. Repair Café BG wants to change all that.
The Repair Café BG is also about connecting neighbors in a new way and discovering that there is a lot of knowledge and know-how close to home.
Karches notes, “If you fix a bike, CD player, or pants with a neighbor you weren’t familiar with before, you look at that person in a different light the next time you pass them on the street. Doing repairs together can lead to pleasant contacts in the neighborhood.
Repairs can save money and resources, and can help reduce CO2 shows, she said. “But above all, Repair Café BG just wants to show how fun (and easy) it can be to fix things.”
The Repair Café is part of an international effort started in the Netherlands in 2009 by Amsterdam-based journalist Martine Postma. A year later, she created the Repair Café Foundation, which supports other groups around the world wishing to launch their own Repair Cafés.
The first local Repair Café took place in 2019. But was unable to take place during the pandemic and has now resumed organizing events.