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Dare to Repair Cafés Return in 2019!

The Dare to Repair Café is about to kick off its third year of fixing stuff instead of ditching it. Coming off a highly successful 2017 and 2018 which saw 354 items and 1998lbs of waste diverted from local landfills over the course of nine events, partners are excited to announce the 2019 lineup of FREE fix-it events:

  • Monday, January 21st – Buffalo Museum of Science from  10am to 1pm
  • Saturday, February 9th – Hamlin Park #74 – 9:30am to 12:30pm
  • Saturday, March 16th – Highgate Heights Elementary 9:30 to 12:15pm
  • Saturday, April 13th – Lovejoy Discovery #43 – 10am to 1pm
  • Saturday, May 18th – Bennett High School – 9am to 12pm
  • Saturday, June 1st – Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve – 10am to 1pm
Download and share the flyer!

Thanks to new partnerships with Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Say Yes Buffalo, and BPS Community Schools, a number of events will be happening in Buffalo Public Schools during their Saturday Academies programming. The goal of this new partnership is not only to fix things for free, but also to teach kids technical knowledge and hands-on repair skills.

Individuals interested in getting more involved with the Dare to Repair Cafés as a volunteer or fixer are encouraged to fill out this form and attend the upcoming planning meet (note: we ALWAYS need fixers!):

  • Monday, January 14th @ 5pm at the CoLab (9 W. Northrup Place)

For those unfamiliar with the initiative, the Dare to Repair Café is Buffalo’s take on the global Repair Café movement, which started more than 10 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 more than 50 countries with nearly 47 cafés now active in the US.

At each event, Dare to Repair volunteer “fixers” work side-by-side with attendees 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 the amount of trash entering the waste stream, pass on traditional repair skills and knowledge, and foster community and sustainability.

Originally the brainchild of the City of Buffalo Department of Recycling and the Tool Library, the initiative has grown into a broad-based partnership that includes: University Heights Community Laboratory, Knowledgefire, Preservation Buffalo Niagara, The Foundry, Valu Home Centers, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Friends of Reinstein Woods, UB Sustainability, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Say Yes Buffalo/BPS Community Schools, Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP).

Special thanks to all the dedicated fixers who make these events possible and the sponsors of the Dare to Repair Café: United Way of Buffalo & Erie County (Next Gen) and LUSH Cosmetics

The Dare to Repair Café hopes to continue to spread the important message of moving our economy from a linear model based on disposibility to a circular model based on repairability and reuseability.

Lead photo: Paul Jones, a Dare to Repair fixer, troubleshoots a vintage vacuum cleaner at an event at The Foundry last summer.

Written by Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton

Darren Cotton works as Director of Community Development & Planning at the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA). His work primarily focuses on housing rehabilitation, small business development, and community capacity building in the neighborhood's surrounding the University at Buffalo's South Campus. Prior to this, Darren served as an Associate Planner at the UB Regional Institute working on a regional sustainability initiative, the remediation of industrial brownfields, and an overhaul of Buffalo's zoning code. As a graduate student at UB, Darren founded the University Heights Tool Library in response to his experience renting from an absentee landlord. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Linguistics and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning all from UB, Darren works to bridge the gap between research, policy, and grassroots activism and is a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

View All Articles by Darren Cotton
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