Being good stewards of the environment, South Pasadena Beautiful, an organization created to enhance the city’s already good features, held a Repair Café on Sunday to the delight of those wanting something fixed.
The free event linked local handy volunteers to folks in need of getting something broken back working again, rather than relegating them to the landfill.
On tables inside the South Pasadena Library Community Room were toasters, computers, mobile phones, bicycles, small household appliances, toys, torn clothes, stuffed animals and more.
One lady even brought in a lantern from the Philippines that needed some love.
The “Fixers,” those doing the repairs, most from South Pasadena, were at the ready, anxious to get their hands on the items and offer their expertise.
One of those busy using his handyman skills was “Kit,” who worked in the electrical and appliance area. He contributed his know-how to fix a vacuum cleaner, a purse, and an electric oil heater all under an hour.
“They’re happy if I can fix them,” said Kit, when asked what kind of feedback he was receiving on making repairs.
“And if I can’t,” he added with a laugh, “they’re not happy.”
South Pasadena Beautiful President Marianne Veach explained the organization is working toward more sustainable efforts, deciding this year in hosting its annual meeting to “do something that would help the environment,” she said. “The event was about fixing your broken things instead of throwing them into the landfill.”
The concept, noted Veach, was borrowed by a repair café started in the Netherlands about 20 years ago, believed to be the first. Experienced seamstresses, electricians, carpenters, and others offered instruction, tools and materials to fix what sat in front of them.
Pointing out that many people throw out an incredible amount of items daily, Veach and fellow South Pasadena Beautiful board members imagined extending their life at little to no cost by presenting the event and preventing them from going to waste.
The event was fitting for an organization that focuses on the beautification of the city with its biggest project yet to come. Soon South Pasadena Beautiful will be re-landscaping the post office in town as fundraising efforts are currently underway. The project is targeted to begin this fall.
South Pasadena Beautiful also has a program where it educates the public on properly caring for newly planted trees “because we’re losing so many in the city,” said Leach. South Pasadena Beautiful also hosts trash pick-up days, Golden Arrow Awards – recognizing well-manicured landscapes at local homes and businesses each year – a tree drive and other activities.
Looking around the community room, the SPB President noticed a lot of items being repaired, as people headed for the exit wearing smiles. “I like it, not only because they get their things fixed, but they make friends, too,” she Leach.
The Repair Café was successful in fixing all kinds of items, helping to bring the community together by diverting unwanted items from landfills. Veach couldn’t ask for more than that on this day, a day that brought hope to further support sustainable living solutions.
“Looks like people are really having a good time,” she said, surveying crowd. “It’s fun.”