Jump to the main content block

NSYSU promotes the circular economy in response to International Repair Day


"Electric lights, electric cookers, and toys – all repaired!" Skillful hands turned decay into magic, making all ages of people surprised excitedly. The repair renaissance movement has spread to Taiwan. The National Sun Yat-sen University's (NSYSU) University Social Responsibility (USR) Project "City as a Commuseum" cooperated with the Repair Café Kaohsiung responding to the International Repair Day and held the Yancheng Repair Café Opening & Repair Session, attracting 34 citizens to send in faulty household appliances for repair, implementing the spirit of "repairing instead of discarding" and toy sharing, and integrating the concept of sustainable recycling into children's daily lives.

NSYSU pointed out that the USR team formed a working team with the Repair Café Kaohsiung. After expanding its base at Cishan and Meinong in Kaohsiung in 2022, the new repair touring base came to Jhongsiao Elementary School in Yancheng District. In the future, a repair service event will be held every two months. Jhongsiao Elementary School in Kaohsiung originally had a "Toy Library-Kaohsiung Toy's Pier" stationed there. It not only provided toy repair services but also set up a toy-sharing area to create a parent-child-friendly space. "The most heartwarming moment of the event was when the volunteer grandpa repaired the toy for the little child. Everyone felt and filled with joy!" On the same day, an NSYSU student also brought an about-to-be-scrapped instant pot from the rental place. Under the skillful hands of the volunteers, the instant pot revived again, and the student witnessed the charm of the repair site. The final repair successful rate of the entire event was 64.7%, achieving waste and carbon reduction benefits of 31.6 kilograms and 275.7 carbon dioxide equivalents.

"Repairing objects not only repairs the relationship between people and the earth but also the relationship between people." Hua-Mei Chiu, co-principal investigator of the USR Project "City as a Commuseum" at NSYSU and Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology, said that today's mass production and disposable consumption have greatly burdened the environment. Environmental issues are also intergenerational justice issues. It is of great significance to be able to provide toy repair services for children. A movement to revitalize repair has been launched worldwide in recent years, and this trend has also entered Taiwan. The "Southern Taiwan Repair Café Alliance," formed by NSYSU in collaboration with local communities and community colleges, upholds the university's social responsibility and uses repair courses and touring repair activities to inspire individuals and communities to participate and promote "repairing instead of discarding" and circular economy concepts.

"The International Repair Day 2023 slogan is Repair for Everyone. We also repair for children, hoping to expand grassroots sustainability and transformation actions, leaving a better environment for the next generation." Hua-Mei Chiu emphasized that the USR Project "City as a Commuseum" at NSYSU promotes the circular repair movement that connects the international and the local through teaching and social practice activities since 2019, connecting Chi-Mei, Kaohsiung First, North Pingtung, and Sinhuà community universities as well as repair volunteer group Repair Café Kaohsiung locally. Facing the world, it has connected with the international repair movement, especially Professor Martin Charter of the Centre for Sustainable Design at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK and the Farnham Repair Café founded by him. Over the past few years, members of the alliance have jointly promoted small household appliances, agricultural machinery, and other repair activities.

The two-day event brought together people from large and small communities, repair volunteers, local communities, community universities, and university faculty and students. Wu-Chiu Huang, the convener of the Repair Café Kaohsiung, shared that people used to repair things individually; now, people can do community services and even connect university resources to organize camping activities. Repair volunteers serve as repair lecturers for cross-generation exchanges, bringing a completely different vision and social significance to the team. As a local host, Yi-Chin Chiou, the director of the Student Affairs Office at Jhongsiao Elementary School, also shared his experience of integrating the spirit of self-creation into the elementary school curriculum. The next day, they jointly held "The Assembly for Repair Activists" with partners from the "Southern Taiwan Repair Café Alliance" to discuss local repair into global integration, exploring how Taiwan's grassroots repair actions may be transformed into policies in the future, promoting sustainable production and consumption, the international repair rights-related legislation and trends, and expanding the connected repair communities.
Click Num: