Author: Darren Cotton
Is your coffee maker on the fritz? Snow blower in the pits? Lamp just never the same since the eclipse? Then bring’em on down to the next Dare to Repair Café on Saturday, November 18th from 10AM to 2PM at The Foundry located at 298 Northampton Street where volunteer repairers will be on hand to help fix your stuff for FREE!
The Dare to Repair Café is Buffalo’s take on the global Repair Café movement, which started more than eight years ago in Amsterdam. Conceived as a way to rethink waste and transform our throw away economy at the local level, the Repair Café model has since spread to nearly 50 countries and with 47 cafés now active in the US.
Over a dozen Dare to Repair volunteer “fixers” work side-by-side with residents to repair their items for free, saving them the cost of replacement and teaching them the necessary skills to make similar repairs in the future. The event is meant to reduce stuff entering the waste stream, pass on traditional repair skills and knowledge, and foster community and sustainability.
The first two Dare to Repair Café events drew over 60 attendees, saw 37 items repaired, and 465 pounds of waste diverted from local landfills. Items varied from antique floor lamps and side tables, to inoperable vacuums and ceiling fans and everything in between. The events not only served residents of the City but were also a regional attraction, bringing together nearly two dozen zip codes across WNY.
The goal of the Dare to Repair organizers is to make the event mobile and host it in a different neighborhood or community each month. November’s event will be heading to The Foundry, an organization that knows a thing or two about fixing:
“The Foundry’s Mission is to increase neighborhood prosperity by empowering individuals through education and entrepreneurship. Hosting the Repair Café this coming Saturday is just the right kind of partnering for us, and we’re looking forward to be part of this inspiring in-house event! We share the dream to reuse, tinker, and convert broken things into opportunities for learning. The Repair Café is part of what can impact small changes in our neighborhood, but grow to merge with a world-wide project to share information, fix and re-use” said Deb Sarlin, Director of Education at The Foundry.
What originally started as a conversation between the Tool Library and the City of Buffalo’s Recycling Department thanks to a DEC webinar on Repair Cafés, has grown into a broad-based partnership that includes the University Heights Community Laboratory, Knowledgefire, Preservation Buffalo Niagara, the Foundry, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and Friends of Reinstein Woods.
Can’t make it to the November event? Join the Dare to Repair Café crew again on January 27th from 10AM to 2PM at the Reinstein Woods Education Center located at 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY.
Those who are interested in becoming a volunteer fixer, would like to host a repair café in their community, or are interested in keeping the Dare to Repair Cafes running should visit the Tool Library’s website or call 716-851-1523.