Guest blog: Can we fix it? (Yes, we can!)

Our guest blog this week is brought to you by Joel Smith – Sustainability Officer and he is providing information on two great sustainability initiatives you can get involved in.

The first of these comes courtesy of Devon County Council’s Recycle Devon team and details the fantastic work of local repair cafés, as well as an opportunity to get involved in a record attempt this Saturday in Exeter! Secondly, you’ll find details of our on campus Student Switch Off campaign and an opportunity to win some great prizes!

Broken things are an expensive issue.
We’ve all got something that needs fixing – egos and hearts aside. I personally have a bedside lamp with a broken switch which I have been leaning out of bed to plug and unplug every night for the last 2 years. My friend has a favourite hoody with a hole in the pocket that he’s not got around to sewing – even though he’s lost his keys at least three times. My housemate’s headphones only play out of one ear.

The thing is, getting things fixed is expensive, especially if it’s electronics or just plain time consuming. Plus the detrimental effect that throwing away these broken items, often made of plastic, has on the environment.

However, don’t fret, there is a solution: Repair Cafés! Repair Café’s are free events run by the community, for the community. With currently 8 across Devon, there’s 2 more being planned and over 1,700 worldwide. Whether they’re retired, a hobbyist or it’s their professional day job, these amazing people volunteer their time to help their neighbours and strangers alike fix items for free to save them from ending up in the bin.

Everything from jeans, headphones, remotes, hoovers, toasters, jewellery, keyboards, amps – if you can lift it and bring it along, they’ll have a go at fixing it with you.

The Big Fix!
This coming Saturday (23rd February) will be Devon’s largest ever Repair Café. On this day, menders across Devon are attempting to beat the record of most items ever fixed in one day, currently held by Cambridge. This coming Saturday (23rd February) will be Devon’s largest ever Repair Café. On this day, menders across Devon are attempting to beat the record of most items ever fixed in one day, currently held by Cambridge.

Fully insured and certified professionals and experienced volunteers will be tackling:

  • Electronics – laptops, camera, keyboards, musical instruments, games consoles, computers etc (Sorry no Apple iPhones or Macs please)
  • Textiles – any shirts, jeans, clothing, coats, zip, cushions, curtains
  • Jewellery, watches and clocks.

To put Devon on the map, we need your help. Please have a look around your rooms/flats/houses/parent’s attic and bring those broken things that you’ve been putting off repairing – even if it’s just popping in for hour with a loose button on a shirt.
So come join the Repair revolution at The Big Fix 2019, from 10:00am-4:00pm on Saturday 23rd February, at Belmont Chapel, Exeter (next to Jury’s Inn and opposite Vue). You can find all the information you need here.

Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz
Student Switch Off is a campaign that the University takes part in that aims to encourage students to save energy when living in halls of residence. More detail on the overall campaign can be found in our December blog post here but for now, we have an exciting competition to tell you about…

The February Climate Change Quiz is currently open and closes on Wednesday 27th February. There are only 6 quiz questions which should take no more than 2 minutes to complete in total. The University of Exeter hall group with the highest percentage of residents participating will win a bumper delivery of 50 tubs of Ben & Jerrys ice cream! And if that’s not enough to tempt you, all individual entries will also go in to a prize draw for a range of prizes including 5 x KeepCups and a £25 Google Play voucher.

Sustainability Joel


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