What do you do with a broken toaster? Or with a bike when the wheel runs out of true? Or a pair of jeans with a hole? Toss it? No way! Sustainable Saratoga and the Saratoga Springs Public Library are organizing the first Repair Café in Saratoga Springs on June 16th from 11-2.

On June 16, from 11-2 in the Harry Dutcher Community Room of the Saratoga Springs Public Library, everything centers on making repairs. Various volunteer repair coaches will be available to help repair broken items free of charge. Tools and materials will also be on hand. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home. Toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, quilts, bikes, toys, small furniture, jewelry…most things that are broken are welcome and can more than likely be repaired with the help of a knowledgeable Repair Café coach.

By promoting repairs, Sustainable Saratoga and the Saratoga Springs Public Library want to help reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills. This is absolutely necessary, according to Wendy Mahaney, Manager of Sustainable Saratoga. “We throw away tons of stuff in this country, even things which could easily be used again after a simple repair. We tend to forget that we can fix things, or we don’t know where to get things fixed, or the repair costs exceed the price of a new replacement. One of the goals of the Repair Café is to change all that by reviving the art of repairing things.”

Repair Café is also meant to connect neighbors in a new way. And to discover that a lot of know-how can be found close to home. Wendy Mahaney: “We call them repair coaches because this is a team effort; the coach is working together with the person to fix their broken item. We were inspired hearing about the personal connections made at other Repair Cafés. If you repair a CD player or a pair of pants together with someone, you make a personal connection and the value of that connection cannot be overstated.”

Sustainable Saratoga’s Zero Waste Committee co-chair Margie Shepard points out that repairs can save money and resources, and can help minimize carbon emissions. “But just as important, Repair Café wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is. We cannot guarantee that we can fix everything, but we are pretty sure you will have a good time while you are here.”

If you like fixing things, Sustainable Saratoga and the SSPL are still looking for additional volunteer repair coaches. This is a fun way to meet new people, make a difference in someone’s life, and help the planet all at the same time. If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer repair coach, email wendy@sustainablesaratoga.org

Sustainable Saratoga and the SSPL hope to organize the Repair Café event several times throughout the year. “The library is proud to be partnering with Sustainable Saratoga in this effort. The objectives we all hope to achieve with Repair Cafe are in direct accordance with our library’s current sustainability efforts to limit our impact on the environment,” Jennifer Ferriss, SSPL Green Team Chair.

Visit https://sustainablesaratoga.org/projects/zero-waste/repair-cafe-saratoga-springs/ for additional information.

Repair Café Foundation

The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-based journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café Foundation. This foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café, including the Repair Café in Saratoga Springs.

We have the tools and the knowledge
We can fix toys, bikes, and electronics
We can fix wooden items too
We can fix textiles – clothes, quilts, and more!