Skip to main content

Broken lamp or vacuum? Don’t throw it away — take it to a Repair Café

repair cafe 13305024 1865795286981370 7334419900740878629 o
One man’s trash is another’s … project. Or rather, your trash is soon to become your newly repaired possession. It’s all in a day’s work at a Repair Café, a concept that began in Amsterdam in 2009 and has since sprouted legs and found its way around the world. Today, you can find such a café in 30 countries — there are 1,200 of them or so to choose from. Their goal is consistent: To repair things together.

“In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need,” the organization explains on its website. “On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields.”

Related Videos

While Repair Cafés are heralded as learning experiences and places to build community, they also serve a very real environmental need. In 2013, 254 million tons of garbage were generated in the United States alone — this included furniture, clothing, and appliances, some of which might’ve been repaired (and saved from the dumpster) by a café.

Indeed, the organization notes, “Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away,” which in turn “reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products.” The end result could be lower CO2 emissions, an ever more salient concern as we look to protect our environment.

Repairing hobbyists, however, promise that their goal is not to detract from business that might otherwise be enjoyed by professional repairmen and women. Rather, the organization says, its organizers hope to use the cafés to encourage visitors to seek help from “the few professionals still around.” Ultimately, the organization seeks to help visitors “see their possessions in a new light,” which is “essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society.”

So if you’re looking to get something fixed or want to help fix something yourself, you can visit one in your area or start one yourself.

Editors' Recommendations

Don’t toss out your old smart home tech! Regift it

Ho-ho-hold on to your old smart home tech. Don't throw it away -- it can make a great Christmas gift.

Whether you managed to find a great deal on some new smart speakers or you were gifted an upgrade on your smart light bulbs, it's very possible you'll find yourself with a few too many gadgets kicking around the house. Sure, you can stash the old ones away for a rainy day, but after gathering dust for so long, you'll likely need clear out them out eventually. Kicking these devices to the curb is an utter waste when they're still perfectly serviceable. Let's see if we can find a better home for your old smart home tech.
First things first, no matter where these gadgets are going, you'll want to make sure you've performed a factory reset on them. You don't want to have lingering user data on them when you hand them off. You'll also want to make sure you have all the appropriate power supplies and wiring needed to have the device up and running. Original packaging and documentation are nice, but not entirely necessary. So long as you've got a box with some protective padding inside, your smart home gadget should be ready to hand off.

Read more
Don’t let your cable company sell you a TV
X Class Xfinity TV

In a matter of weeks, Comcast is going to try to sell you a TV. I can understand if you might be tempted by the idea of no longer needing a cable box to get cable TV. But, I implore you: Don’t do it.

One exception: If you love your cable box -- and I mean if you really enjoy your cable box and its remote control and can’t imagine how you could ever watch TV without them -- then maybe go ahead and buy one of the TVs they’ll be hawking.

Read more
Animal Crossing won’t take away your DLC items if you ditch Switch Online
Key art for Animal Crossing Happy Home Paradise.

Nintendo has clarified some details about the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons -- Happy Home Paradise DLC and how it interacts with Nintendo Online memberships. In a statement sent to Digital Trends, Nintendo of America confirms that players will be able to keep items they earned through the DLC, even if they cancel their Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership. However, they will not be able to play the DLC once they unsubscribe from the service.

According to Nintendo, players will need an active Expansion Pack membership to play the DLC. The archipelago will become inactive if players unsubscribe and do not own a copy of the DLC. Nintendo confirms that save data will still remain stored on the console. So if a player unsubscribes, they will not lose their save data and will be able to resume where they left off if they buy the DLC or resubscribe.

Read more