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NY Times: "An Effort to Bury a Throwaway Culture One Repair at a Time"

1 min. read

The Dutch have a great idea here: fixing ordinary consumer goods so you don't have to throw them away.

...At Amsterdam’s first Repair Cafe, an event originally held in a theater’s foyer, then in a rented room in a former hotel and now in a community center a couple of times a month, people can bring in whatever they want to have repaired, at no cost, by volunteers who just like to fix things.

Conceived of as a way to help people reduce waste, the Repair Cafe concept has taken off since its debut two and a half years ago. The Repair Cafe Foundation has raised about $525,000 through a grant from the Dutch government, support from foundations and small donations, all of which pay for staffing, marketing and even a Repair Cafe bus.

As the article also points out, this is the opposite of "planned obsolescence" or a "just throw it away and don’t think about it" culture. Instead, this is more along the lines of a "'cradle to cradle' design philosophy, which posits that things should be built so that they can be taken apart and the raw materials reused." Among other advantages to "cradle to cradle," it takes a great deal less energy, costs a lot less, and produces a great deal less pollution to reuse or recycle something than to manufacture it from scratch.  Is there any good reason not to move in this direction?