Repair Café Comes to the North Fork

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! North Fork Environmental Council (NFEC) is organizing the first Repair Café at the Floyd Memorial Library (539 First Street) in Greenport on Saturday April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the Repair Café, everything centers on making repairs. Various volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs 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, bikes, toys, crockery… anything that is broken is welcome. And can more than likely be repaired. The Repair Café volunteer repair coaches almost always have the know-how.

By promoting repairs, NFEC wants to help reduce mountains of waste. This is absolutely necessary, according to Margaret de Cruz, who organized this Repair Café.

“We throw away piles of stuff in the United States..But Where is Away? There is no Away, except the Oceans and Earth’s floor, and landfills,” she said. “Even things which practically have nothing wrong with them, and which could easily be used again after a simple repair, are thrown ‘Away’. 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.

“If you repair a bike, a CD player or a pair of trousers 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. Jointly making repairs can lead to pleasant contacts in the neighborhood,” said Ms. de Cruz.

Repairing  saves money and resources, reduces unnecessary consumption and can help minimize CO2 emissions.

“But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is,” she said.

Besides needing thing to fix, the Repair Café needs volunteer repair coaches and tinkerers with fix-it skills and tools if possible.

For more information or to volunteer, contact

NFEC  wishes to promote Repair Cafés on a regular basis in other North Fork locations. For more info on how to organize one contact or check the website for news about up-and-coming Repair Cafés.

East End Beacon

The East End Beacon is your guide to social and environmental issues, arts & culture on the East End of Long Island.

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