The average American throws out around 185 pounds of plastic each year. It has been estimated that our oceans now have 110 million tons of plastic trash, with 8 million tons of plastics being dumped into the oceans each year.
While a lot of focus has been placed on the third R, recycling, we often overlook the need to reuse–getting the maximum life out of our gadgets and household items. Here’s the problem: we tend to live in a throwaway culture where items are built to be replaced as opposed to repaired, and we often lack the necessary know-how if we wanted to fix the item.
Repair Cafes solve this problem by creating social community events where you can bring in your broken items to have fixed, free of change. And instead of a repair shop where you would still be dependent on someone else’s skill set, Repair Cafes operate by having attendees fix their own items alongside the guidance of the skilled volunteers. It’s one part maker movement, one part environmental awareness, and one part social gathering. It is also multi-generational.
The Repair Cafe movement was started in 2009 by Martine Postma in Amsterdam and has since grown to over 1200 throughout the globe. Is there one in your area? You can search the list here. There is one in Bengaluru, India as well.