We throw away vast quantities of things in our county every year. Many items have almost nothing wrong with them, but unfortunately lots of people have forgotten or don't know how to repair things themselves.
The Repair Café idea started in Holland and there are Repair Café's across Europe offering regular opportunities for people to bring broken items along for free for volunteer 'menders' to repair.
Repairing an existing item is more environmentally friendly than recycling an item. This is because recycling requires energy and that an item be transported between recycling centres. Often if an item is recycled a new item will be bought in it’s place and this will use up energy and resources when it is created.
In the UK we waste many items that could be repaired, we are the second highest producer of electronic waste in Europe – we throw away electronics worth £370 million a year.
Learning to repair items can:
- Save Money
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Reduce plastic waste
- Reduce resource use
Items such as clothes, small electricals, furniture, bric-a-brac, bikes and electronics are usually brought along. The volunteer menders might have a personal interest in sewing, for example, or already volunteer with a furniture repair organisation, or they might run a small business, such as a local computer repairer. By sitting with the volunteers as they carry out the repairs, people can also pick up valuable skills which in turn will lead to less and less items being discarded as 'unfixable'.