Craft and Art Supplies Swap

by Paula Johanson

On Sunday, Sept 18 from 10 am to 2 pm, Zero Waste Sooke and the Sooke Library held a Craft & Art Supplies Swap. We had done one Swap before the pandemic began, and were delighted to see how well this Swap went. The Library’s April Ripley made a good image for small posters and for sharing on social media.

Six tables were filled with sorted crafting materials and art supplies, emptied, and filled again, emptied and filled once more. I lost count of attendees at over fifty people. So many bags of yarn, or fabric, or art supplies went to new homes. The library workers were glad to see many people who said this was their first visit to our new library building.

This event was particularly popular with small daycare homes, and those mothers were delighted at how much they could take. Some families came back for a second turn through the room, and one person came back twice! At the end, three friends came to help pack up the leftovers, and another volunteered her vehicle to take leftovers to a sharing store. Thank you all for participating!

At the Library’s request, Zero Waste Sooke will be co-sponsoring three two-hour-long Swaps in the new year instead of one four-hour event: a Yarn Swap one month, a Sewing Supplies Swap the next month, and an Art Supplies Swap the month after that. 

All-Candidates’ Meeting with a Twist 

When candidates arrived at the October 2 all-candidates’ meeting sponsored by Transition Sooke at the Sooke Community Hall, they weren’t lined up on stage waiting for questions from the audience. All the questions will be delivered at small tables with only one candidate present.

Each candidate sat at a table and several participants joined them and asked questions. After about 5-10 minutes, a gong sounded and participants moved to a new table.

“We like to call it speed-rating,” says Transition Sooke’s Bernie Klassen. “Participants get to move around the room and for a short time they get to ask their questions face-to-face with each one of the candidates.”

“Transition Sooke members were eager to ask questions about the climate emergency and how Sooke should respond to it,” says Klassen, “but participants asked questions about any subject area that interested them.”

There are 23 would-be council members running this year, and most of them came to the event.

Repair Café Lights Things Up      

         by Paula Johanson

Zero Waste Sooke hosted a Repair Café on October 16 that went really well in our new location at Sooke Library! This appears to have been the LAMP Repair Café, as everybody helped with lamps.

Many thanks to Carol and Dave who greeted arrivals, set up coffee and homemade snacks, and kept contact info for anyone wanting to be part of future activities. Nineteen repairs were made, advice was offered on how to make a zipper work for a while longer, and many conversations took place.

A new arrival to Sooke introduced himself as Rick. All his tools are boxed up in his new garage, so he just came to say hi — but before long he was helping me with a blinky bike light. Of course he had a Swiss Army pocket knife with tweezers. Suddenly, Rick became one of our fixers! He made several repairs, borrowing tools from Jeremy while chatting knowledgeably about the Right to Repair movement.

We had a welcome visit from Susan McDonald who runs Repair Cafés in North Saanich, and another person visiting from California who had checked the Sooke Library’s website and brought her clock from home to take it to our Repair Café. These visitors came because they were planning TWO activities for their trips and had found word of our Repair Café on the Library’s website; others came for the first time after seeing the terrific poster made by Library worker April Ripley.

Bernie worked on at least two electric kettles, and some lamps. The final repair he made was to a toaster that had to have its lever held down for it to toast bread. The owner waited her turn, polishing the toaster and then explained to Bernie how the lever just wouldn’t stay down on its own.

“Bad toaster!” said Bernie, and he smacked it. “Bad toaster!”

And then the toaster worked properly.

The toaster owner was mystified and delighted.

“If it gives you any more trouble, just bring it around again,” said Bernie.

Meanwhile, our final repair was taking place: it was a vacuum cleaner. Before the vacuum reached Jeremy, I’d already quizzed the owner and agreed the problem wasn’t any of the things she or I knew how to fix; it was a switch. This took half an hour to successfully fix!

All in all, a wonderful success, with new people planning to come to the Zero Waste Sooke meeting on Thursday Nov 17 at 7pm at the Library.