One year, one electronic polar bear

We’re celebrating our first birthday today with friends and supporters.

We have to pinch ourselves when we realise that we have thrown 27 Restart Parties in the past year, involving and empowering over 500 Londoners of all ages, backgrounds and groups. Together we have saved an approximate 393 kilograms of electronics from waste, which James from AccessSpace in Sheffield points out, is roughly the weight of a polar bear.

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Celebrating our half-birthday – December parties!

Wow, time flies, we look at the calendar and we will have had over a dozen Restart Parties in our six short months of life. We’ve learned tons and met so many great people.

And we’ve had so many “hallelujah” moments – like this one, in our very first Restart Party:

hallelujah merry xmas

We have three events this month, so please get involved.

Let’s get in the repair spirit on the eve of our society’s mid-winter consumer binge!

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Photos from Swiss Cottage Library

We had a great turnout at Swiss Cottage Library – the foyer was an excellent space for a Restart Party, we hope to pop-up there again. Thanks to everybody for getting really involved in the repairs, for rolling up your sleeves.

Our repair roll from Brixton was hard to maintain – we had some really tough laptop repairs this time. Some of the repairs we hope to finish in two weeks at the Repair Café at the Goodlife Centre in Southwark/Waterloo.

What we are throwing away

Our e-stuff is a goldmine. Recently the United Nations University and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) estimated that electronic waste now contains precious metal “deposits” 40 to 50 times richer than ores mined from the ground. Annually $16 billion in gold is built into our electronics and at least 85% is not recovered – lost forever.

WRAP estimates that in the UK, between now and 2020, 3 million tonnes of IT equipment, consumer electronics and display screens will be disposed.

This is roughly the weight of 30,000 Routemaster buses EACH YEAR.

According to WRAP, at least 25% of this waste could be reused.

But statistics are often abstractions. What actually happens on the ground? What does this look like? We visited Camden’s waste disposal and recycling site at Regis Road earlier this month.

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#Restart3: Library as repairspace

We are delighted to announce that our third Restart Party will be at Belsize Community Library (3 Antrim Road, NW3 4XN). Save the evening of Wednesday, July 11 for community repair. We’ll be there from 6-9pm, helping people fix their stuff. (Please let us know you are coming!)

There has been a great deal written about future libraries as makerspaces or hackspaces, but we feel the library can be a place for skillsharing and helping to nurture new, collaborative economies. Continue reading

Our first Restart Party – repairing and learning

Thanks to everybody who attended our first Restart Party repair event in north London on Saturday – you made it a real success.

We had an excellent turnout – more than 30 people came by, from many generations, and the space was buzzing the full four hours. We had 4 humble repair heroes offering their skills in computer and electronics repair – sometimes this meant we could not help everybody immediately, but people were quite happy to meet each other, have a brownie and a coffee and talk about their electronics, green and local issues.

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