Throwing our broken appliances and other items away seems to be the only thing to do if they have become unusable, but Martine Postman in Amsterdam wasn't satisfied with this symptom of wasteful over-consumption. She was determined to find a way to do more then watch dumpsters overflowing and created the concept of Repair Cafes. Once a month her coffee shop provides space for repair experts to work with people who want to fix broken goods of all kinds - from broken computers to children's toys to old watches. Portman's creative idea has spread to over 70 countries around the world and offered an alternative to our throwaway consumer culture.


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  • Ramesh Shah

    It is AMAZING, Creative Idea, Recover-Recycle, Reuse. Somebody should bring this idea to USA-STAR Bucks!

  • Mike Vandeman

    It's doing exactly the right thing!

  • mamta nanda

    Great idea. I am part of a similar initiative in my local community. I would love to find out more about this.

  • Carolyn

    I’d like to learn a an easy way to set. This up in my community.

  • Ratnakara

    That one excellent idea has spread world wide! A small group of people and simple ideas can help to heal our planet and world!

  • Barbara Schwartzbach

    How one person creates change for the environment.

  • Maureen Kammer

    Inspirational! This will make me think much more carefully about repairing rather than just tossing.

  • Marcelo @daprarecriar

    This project inspired me to my project called @daprarecriar. I love their manifest.

  • Patrick Watters

    I suspect many of us grew up in families who have been historically poor? My own Irish crofter descended family had a culture of fixing everything from tools to toys. My father taught me how to repair everything inside and out, my maternal grandfather too. Every Saturday around our house was “repair cafe”. My on children grew up watching me fix everything, even most recently witnessed an electric garage door repair. I guess engineering, especially the mechanical variety is in our blood.

  • Cathryn

    Bravo for Martine Postman for envisioning a way to reduce wasteful over-consumption and to put her idea into action in a way that can go global!!!

  • Jean

    What a great idea!!

  • Rita

    Excellent presentation. I love the plan to repair or repurpose used items. We don't have to throw away everything. I wouldn't buy things that can only be used for a short time.Or at least I wouldn't buy them twice!

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  • Learn another effort to reduce waste at the Upcycle Parts Shop, a non profit arts organization that provides pubic access to creative supplies that would have been thrown out. 
  • Try some of these 15 zero waste tips as we all work to create less waste eac
  • Consider these questions: How can you create less waste or re-use what you have used once? What are the things in your life that are broken that can be creatively repaired, whether they are things, relationships or ideas?

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