Westerville starts its own Repair Café
What do you do with a broken toaster? Or with a bike when the wheel runs out of true? Or with a sweater full of moth holes? Toss it? No way! Sustainable Westerville, Otterbein University, and the Westerville Public Library are organizing the first Repair Café in Westerville, Ohio on Saturday October 7, 2023.
At [The Point on Otterbein’s campus], on [Collegeview, on [October 7] everything centers on making repairs. Starting from [9:00am] and ending at [12:00pm], various volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs free of charge. Tools and materials will also be on hand to use and to purchase if needed. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home. Toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, toys, crockery... anything that is broken is welcome. And can more than likely be repaired. The Repair Café specialists almost always have the know-how.
By promoting repairs, [Sustainable Westerville and Otterbein University] want to help reduce mountains of waste. This is absolutely necessary, according to [Bethany Vosburg-Bluem and Paul Wendel]. "We throw away piles of stuff in [the United States]. Even things which practically have nothing wrong with them, and which could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can have things repaired. Repair Café wants to change all that."
Repair Café is also meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way. And to discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. Bethany: "If you repair a bike, a lamp or a shirt together with a fellow community member, it helps create a stronger sense of community and connection.. Making repairs also empowers people to be more mindful of what they keep and what they throw away."
Paul points out that a repair minimizes waste, typically doubling or tripling the life of an object. "We want to encourage a conservation & repair mindset from start to finish. Buy durable items, then keep them going for as long as we can."
Repair Café International Foundation
The Repair Café concept arose in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time a journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café International Foundation (see Repaircafe.org/en). This foundation provides professional support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café. The foundation also supports the Repair Café in Westerville, Ohio.
Sustainable Westerville and Otterbein University have begun organizing this Repair Café and would like it to become an annual or bi-annual event. News about future dates and locations will be dependent upon the success of this first one, so please consider coming in with an item or two!
Sustainable Westerville will have a table at the Westerville Farmers Market on Saturday September 30 from 9:00-12:00. Stop by to see us and we’ll answer any questions you may have!
September 18, 2023
Note for the editors: You can get more information from Bethany Vosburg-Bluem from Sustainable Westerville and Otterbein University, firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Wendel from Otterbein University, email@example.com . You can also go to https://www.sustainablewesterville.org/repair-cafe or Repaircafe.org/en.