The most amazing thing about The Restart Project is the volunteer pool of Restarters that emerged from our monthly community events here in London. When we started, we had no idea there were so many talented people just waiting for an opportunity to share their skills with their neighbours.
When we go to the suburbs, in the UK, US, or Italy, our minds run wild. What will the shopping centre of the future look like? How will space be reconfigured? If we are truly going to turn things around, the suburbs are a huge part of a liveable future – not an after-thought. So we were very open minded – and excited! – when Havering Council approached us about a campaign to get people rethinking electronic waste in their borough.
In the past two years, we’ve come up with 34 categories for the +800 broken gadgets we’ve seen at our community events. These categories fit in four categories: computers and home office, electronic gadgets, home entertainment, kitchen and household items. Together with a team of six volunteers and some coaching, we have spent over 60 person-hours scouring the internet for data on their pre-use carbon footprints.
The “declutter” and “tiny house” trends are a sort of consumerist purging. And they run the risk of becoming transformed from ways of thinking to passive services and a pret-a-ocuper products. It is comparatively easy to throw or give away. It is harder to change our relationship with stuff over the long term.
Our favourite fixes from a very memorable year… We can’t wait for more in 2015. Including a boombox, some vintage kit, self laptop-repair and screen replacements.
Earlier this year, Restarters and participants at a Restart Party in Camden shared why they love our events. Three UCL Material Cultures masters students facilitated, and talented photographer Heather Agyepong took these photos.
We won some recognition and funding! Votes of confidence from Nominet Trust, Unltd, WRAP and the London Sustainable Development Commission help our “upstart” message travel further – and our business grow, so we can sustain ourselves.
Restarter Faraz is a maker and hacker with a degree in Materials Science. He loves helping people, learning and solving puzzles, which is why he loves Restart Parties. Read more about what motivates him to fix
This is guest post by Steve Parkinson, co-founder of Teach Design, a group of Design and Technology teachers. He talks about the opportunities for collaboration with The Restart Project in the classroom.