Prepare to repair

Publish Date : 01 Jul 2022
Repair Cafe

The fix-it skills of Repair Café volunteers stop about 90 kilograms of waste going into landfill every time the community-led Western Spring Gardens Community Hall event is held.

In an average day the group repairs as many as 40 items, giving new life to old jugs, irons and household appliances, stopping them from entering landfill and saving their owners money along the way.

And the willing volunteers don’t just fix items, they pass their skills on to others, encouraging them to join the DIY revolution in a bid to further reduce waste.

The Repair Café is run by the Chinese Conservation and Education Trust using funding from the

Albert-Eden Local Board, which makes climate action and protecting the natural environment a priority.

Board chair Margi Watson says funding activities at the local level helps residents to ‘live lightly’ so that they reduce their own impact on the environment.

“In a society that’s increasingly geared to throwing things out as soon as the don’t work well, Repair Café is great not only because it helps reduce waste and shares skills, but also because it’s a place where people are able to connect with each other in a social setting.”

Finding the staff for the café is no easy task, but a recent call on the Chinese community’s WeChat social media network prompted four qualified electricians to sign up, joining around 30 volunteers who regularly participate in the group, which also boasts computer hardware experts, woodworking and sewing volunteers.

Despite COVID-19 related setbacks, the Repair Café is in its third year, and similar groups are popping up in the neighbourhood too the Epsom Sewing Repair Café. It is organised by the Chinese Conservation Education Trust - CCET Auckland in collaboration with the Epsom Chinese Association at the local Kimberley Room on the first Friday of each month.

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