Challenging throwaway culture one cuppa at a time
Here’s an inspiring tale that encapsulates all Earth Garden stands for, modestly written by Lizette Salmon, the Coordinator of Australia’s largest repair café in Albury-Wodonga.
I grew up with a grandfather who painstakingly fixed kettles, toasters, hairdryers and other electrical items for family and friends. He was a retired Dutch engineer, and he’d have the appliances up and running in a few days, his initials and date discretely etched on the underside. It gave me an appreciation for the importance of fixing rather than tossing. Opa’s long since passed away, but his legacy lives on in Australia’s largest Repair Café at Albury-Wodonga.
I stumbled across the Repair Café concept in early 2015 and was hooked immediately; it ticked so many environmental and social boxes. Repair cafés are free meeting places for people to learn the art of repair from experienced volunteers. Visitors bring in a broken household item – a wobbly stool, torn shirt, broken torch or flat bike tyre – and are shown how to fix it. It’s about repairing and restoring, rejecting throw-away society and fostering a culture of creativity, innovation, repair and re-use.
Jan fixing Mikaeli’s baby monitor.