SUMMIT, NJ - Operating with a motto of "Toss It, No Way," the Repair Café concept, begun in the Netherlands nearly a decade ago by Amsterdam-bases journalist / publicist Martine Postma, which sees volunteers gather to repair furniture, electronics and other household items for free as part of an effort to keep those items out of the waste stream, is coming to the Hilltop City.
Green Summit is currently organizing a Repair Café event that will be held at Saint John's Lutheran Church on September 22, from 1 - 4 p.m. Residents can bring everything from a broken toaster to a sweater full of moth holes to the Repair Café, where various volunteer repair volunteers will be available to help make all possible repairs free of charge.
Tools and materials will also be on hand, with anything that is broken -- including small appliances, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bicycles and toys -- welcome and is more than likely able to be repaired.
By promoting repairs, Green Summit aims to help reduce mountains of waste. "We throw away piles of stuff in the United States," said Courtney Cordaro. "Even things which practically have nothing wrong with them get thrown away, and could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can have things repaired. Repair Café can change all that."
The 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.
"If you repair a bike, a CD player or a pair of pants together with a previously unfamiliar neighbor, you look at that person in a different light the next time you run into them on the street," notes Cordaro. "Jointly making repairs can lead to pleasant contacts in the neighborhood." Cordaro added that repairs can save money and resources, and can help minimize CO2 emissions. “But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun and often easy repairing things can be.”
Green Summit is currently recruiting repair volunteers are needed for any skill type. Interested parties are asked to contact GreenSummitNJ@gmail.com.
Green Summit provides support to the City's Environmental Commission to achieve Sustainable Jersey goals, and seeks to educate the community about sustainable living, and make the town a healthier, "greener" place to call home. For more information on Green Summit, visit greensummitnj.org.
To learn more about the Repair Café Foundation, which provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café -- and which is supporting the Repair Café in Summit -- visit repaircafe.org.
Saint John’s Lutheran Church is located at 587 Springfield Avenue.