Reuse, Repair – Reduce!

Through community opportunities, we offer everyone a chance to champion the Rs that are important to a more sustainable future: reuse, repair, recycling and reducing consumption of consumer goods. Last weekend dozens of people actively participated in reuse and repair activities that both reduced waste and (we hope!) helped them embrace a vision of a zero waste future.

The Northern Westchester Repair Cafe

The new Repair Cafe launched on February 10th. This volunteer repair pop-up shop was hosted by the MKR LAB (in the former Lewisboro Elementary School) and supported by Bedford 2020 and the Lewisboro Sustainability Committee.

This first iteration of the Northern Westchester Repair Cafe focused on fixing electronics. People came with headphones, a fan, printers, part of a model train set, and more. Volunteers who know how to fix things worked alongside them to help diagnose and repair their broken items. The MKR LAB also had items available for kids to take apart and tinker with. 

To counteract a “disposable society” mentality, the Repair Cafe concept aims to build community that creates a culture of repair to encourage people to buy higher quality items and repair them when they break. To get involved in the Northern Westchester Repair Cafe, email or call Sarah at 914-346-9721. And join the Repair Cafe Group on Facebook.

The Trash Bash Valentine’s Craft

The “Trashy Valentine’s” event on Saturday, Feb. 9th attracted several dozen children and adults who cut, glued, and glittered hand made cards¬†our of “trash” at¬†an activity hosted by the Katonah Village Library and Bedford 2020.¬†

Participants had their choice of an assortment of colorful materials – from ribbons and foil to glitter and beads. Most of the items were leftover and scrap materials donated to the Take it or Leave it Shed (TIOLI) last season. Many participants remarked how thrilled they were to use up materials that may otherwise end up in the trash. And they didn’t purchase new cards either.

There are so many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in our community. Here are just a few, with more coming soon.

The Take it or Leave it Shed

TIOLI reopens the second weekend in May. If you have not already enjoyed this community resource, it aims to collect and re-distribute household items to keep them out of the waste stream. Join the TIOLI Facebook Group and post items seeking a new home or find out more about volunteer needs this upcoming season at TIOLI.

The Reusable Bag Fee

Coming soon to Bedford. Effective April 1st, our large retailers in the Town of Bedford are required to charge for disposable carry out paper and plastic bags. The goal of the law is to increase reusable bag use. Over the next 6 weeks the grocery stores in town will be giving away hundreds of free reusable bags.

Already have too many reusable bags? You may bring your extra bags to the Take a Bag – Leave a Bag stations in the Katonah Village Library, Bedford Village Library, and Town Hall where anyone who needs a bag may take one.

Community Compost

Community Compost is a free kitchen organic waste drop off program for town residents at the Bedford Recycling Center on Railroad Ave. in Bedford Hills. Click here for info. Our Zero Waste Challenge in the fall showed that recycling food scraps effort motivated participants to make a bigger effort to consume and waste even less. We will highlight the results of the ZWC in our March newsletter.

Through these and other programs Bedford 2020 helps empower our community members to engage in activities in their own lives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect natural resources. Individual change, now matter how small, adds up and can lead to to bigger shifts in cultural perceptions – and that could make a big difference!