Clever Amsterdamers start Repair Café concept

Michelle Enger

In an effort to reduce waste and combat throwaway culture, a group of volunteers in Amsterdam have started a "Repair Café."  They spend a few hours a month to repair items that would normally be thrown in the trash.

“In Europe, we throw out so many things,” said Martine Postma, a former journalist who came up with the concept after the birth of her second child led her to think more about the environment. “It’s a shame, because the things we throw away are usually not that broken. There are more and more people in the world, and we can’t keep handling things the way we do.

The New York Times, 5-8-12

The Repair Café created an environment for community members to get together.  They socialize with one another and get to know their neighbors, all while doing their part to help the environment and the people that live in it.

When something breaks or stops working properly, community members bring it to get fixed.  It is an alternative to throwing out items that still have value.  It is a huge money saver for people that do not have the money to buy new items.

The word of the success of the Repair Café has reached near and far.  People from France and Belgium to South Africa and Australia have asked for help to start their own groups.

Maybe it’s time to reach America, and better yet the Chippewa Valley.

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