Repair Cafe at the Fireweed Market Reuse and Repair Fair

YuKonstruct was pleased to bring our Repair Cafe to Zero Waste Yukon‘s Fireweed Market Reuse and Repair Fair in Shipyards Park on Thursday August 24.

Volunteers Michelle, Garnet and Glenn had a terrific afternoon meeting interesting people, fielding questions (some quite puzzling) and, of course, helping people fix their stuff!

A steady stream of people came to see what YuKonstruct was all about, and quite a few brought items they wanted to repair, including:
  • headphones with a broken plastic frame (that still put out great sound),
  • a high-end OttLite lamp (that had a frayed wire in its articulated support arm),
  • a vintage toaster (with a broken wire in its popping mechanism),
  • a Hoover vacuum cleaner (with a broken power switch),
  • two manual typewriters (one with a broken/missing carriage return spring, the other seemed to work just fine),
  • a camera (that had beer spilled on it), and
  • a blender (with a worn drive disk).

There was a wide range in what people expected.  One participant was an engineer that tried to repair his appliance, but ran out of time and ideas.  Another was a young woman who simply wanted help getting her appliance apart because she had a good idea of how she could repair it.  Often, just getting a malfunctioning item open is the biggest part of the challenge because so many consumer goods are not designed to be repaired, let alone by their owners.  In other cases, having several people pondering the problem, pooling their experience and insight leads to an understanding of what is supposed to be happening, why it’s not, and what to do about it!

It was really encouraging to see women and girls coming by the booth who were into tinkering and keen to get their hands dirty exploring the technology that so many people take for granted.

One couple from England, now living in Whitehorse, told us about a fascinating old British TV series called The Secret Life of Machines– a hilarious, but still informative introduction into the nature of machines all around us.

As usual, it was a lot of fun getting out to meet new people and help where we could.

Don’t forget there is a regular monthly Repair Cafe at the makerspace!  Come on down – we’re looking forward to fixing more stuff!

Special thanks to Rowan for hauling our folding tables to the market in his truck!

YuKonstruct at the Reuse & Repair Fair

Zero Waste Yukon‘s inaugural Reuse & Repair Fair was a huge success on Saturday June 3, 2017! The fair included live music, workshops, artists selling work created from reused and re-purposed materials, and food trucks serving food in a zero waste manner. YuKonstruct was pleased to bring our Repair Cafe to this great event.

Volunteers Glenn and Garnet assisted fair attendees with repairs ranging from diagnosing a faulty toaster cord to fixing an electric guitar.

If you have broken things in need of fixing, be sure to check our events calendar for upcoming Repair Cafes (usually the 4th Friday of the month).


Zero Waste Hackathon

Earlier this month, there was a Zero Waste Conference at Yukon College. To encourage people to help reduce what get’s put into the landfill, YuKonstruct and Zero Waste Yukon partnered to create the first ever Zero Waste Hackathon to go along with the conference!

We invited teams to think creatively about how to divert garbage from the landfill. This could include anything from an automatic trash sorting machine, to a piece of art made with recycled materials; an online educational product that informs people about garbage, to a new design for an already existing product which reduces the waste of that product. So the criteria for this Hackathon were very broad! We even had funding from the City of Whitehorse Envrionmental Fund to pay for each team’s materials and supplies up to $250!

There were also prizes for the winning teams! Prizes included a 2016 White Pass Summit Excursion, a gift card to Antoinette’s, camping passes, and beer & swag from Yukon Brewing!

The first place prize went to Phillip who invented a creative table/saw combo that cuts and sorts palates to be burned in the wood-stove for heat. What a great way to take something that would otherwise go in our landfill and use it to reduce the heating bill! Check it out:

Hackathon pic


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