LIVING LIGHT
Living Light
Welcome! You have found the site of the CreationKeepers team (Christ Church's Eco Church Committee), which shares ideas and experiences about how we can all lighten our environmental footprint. We do this because we see our planet and its resources at a breaking point and believe in the power of personal examples. Most weeks, we will reflect on some aspect of living, working, shopping, consuming, reading, learning, etc. These are all local experiences and can easily be adopted by others in our community. Our authors (Rosie and Monika) look forward to any comments or ideas that you may also have and want to share. Send us your ideas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #70: The Repair Bonus is back - give your electric devices a second chance!

May 12, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
The Repair Bonus is back! Or rather: It’s grown up, from its earlier incarnation as a Vienna-only pilot. As of two weeks ago, the Bonus scheme is available again - this time for everyone in Austria! This means for you: You can now get your electrical devices fixed and it will only cost you half of what you would normally be charged (up to a limit). Some of this Blog’s readers may recall the earlier Vienna-only Reparturbonus that had run for two years under the header Vienna Fixes it: Featured in Blog#9, the Reparaturbonus at the time had mobilized thousands of Viennese to get their devices repaired rather than throw them away by offering a 50% subsidy for the repair cost (up to 100 Euro). I myself got a watch fixed, as well as toaster, but then the scheme concluded in December 2021 and I was a bit disappointed that it had ended. Well, someone noticed how successful the Viennese were - and took the scheme national: On April 25, the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology launched the now national program on a new website, ready for you to go and check it out.

 
Picture:  The Repair Bonus is back!  Just go to reparaturbonus.at and click on the button on the bottom right - Reparaturbon erstellen - it will take you to the next steps to get your bonus voucher. And then all you need to do is take the device you want to have repaired to one of the designated repair stores.

Getting your repair bonus voucher is really simple and all online. You start by going to reparaturbonus.at.  There is a button on the bottom right of the landing page picture Raparaturbon erstellen: You click there, get to a place where you give them your personal details (they need this to check that you actually live in Austria), and from there you get to a place where you can create your Reparaturbonus (click on Bon erstellen).  The system will create a pdf for you and it will send the Bonus voucher to you by email.  Attention: The voucher is only valid for three weeks - so you got to act on your intention reasonably fast.  What happens next is that you figure out which Partner Repair Shop in your neighbourhood can do the repairs: You click on Partnerbetrieb finden, enter your postal code and bang, you have a list of eligible repair shops right in front of you. You take your Bonus and your device to the repair shop of your choice, go over there, and you are in business. The Reparaturbonus will offer a 50% subsidy for repairs of any electronic device up to 200 Euro AND it will also subsidize up to 30 Euro that getting an estimate may cost. The shop will only charge you the final cost and handle the subsidy application directly, on your behalf.  What does that mean? Simple: If a repair would cost 300 Euros, you only pay 150 Euros!!  

 

Picture: Success!  I got my voucher - electronically - and can now take it to the repair shop, together with our hot water kettle that is in desperate need for repairs.

Intrigued?  Well that’s the whole purpose of the scheme.  The idea is to get citizens used to getting things repaired again, to somewhat turn back the clock to a time when resources were scarce even in the richer countries and people, both for necessity and by mentality, would always look to repair something before considering throwing it away.   The repair bonus is funded by the Austrian Government and with support of 130 Million Euros coming from the Next Generation EU pandemic rescue fund.  The intended results?  Less waste, less CO2, and more business for local repair shops.  In fact, some 1,200 shops across Austria accept the voucher - I can see that this would give a boost to these much needed small enterprises.
Will it work?  Will citizens change their behavior and throw away less? Well, it worked in Vienna - the pilot version of the Repair Bonus that was undertaken here had been a success:  Over 35,000 items were repaired, saving some 850 tons of CO2 emissions, according to some estimates. The scheme at the time only subsidized repairs with 100 Euros but it had been beautifully simple: If you are checking out the new national program, you will find pretty much all features repeated here. Others have been looking to learn from Vienna, too: The ORF reported that the Vienna Repair Bonus is now considered in other countries also, including in the US - by the city of Portland.
In Austria, repiaring an electric household device is now effectively at half price. Will you consider this before throwing something away?  Let’s say good-bye to the Throw-Away Society we have so become used to - and let’s welcome going back to a repair-friendly world.
Inspired? Thoughts or reactions? Or ideas for forthcoming blogs?  We look forward to hearing from you - best via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog #69: Depo Days and the Green World Tour - the Weekend in Vienna

May 5, 2022
Monika Weber-Fahr
Spring is finally here, and most of you are surely planning to spend at least part of the weekend in the outdoors - in or outside of Vienna.  Nevertheless you might want to consider including two activities in your schedule that may involve more than a walk in nature: The Vienna Depo Days and the Green World Tour. What are they?
The Depo Days run from 10 am till 8pm (on Sunday: 7pm) and take place at the Deponie Rautenweg in the 22nd district, Vienna’s only municipal landfill and Austria’s largest. Why spend a gorgeous spring day at a landfill?  Easy: Because there you will find activities offered that will be fun, insightful, and you will walk away inspired!  Vienna’s notoriously popular (no joke!) waste management team - the “48ers” - have put together a program designed to both entertain and offer great opportunities for learning.  You can get a tour - across what seems to be one of the most professionally managed landfills (no smells promised) - both in a mini-train or with a guide that will actually explain what’s going on there.  The tours include a visit with the landfill goats. Yes, you read it right, MA48 deploys goats - mostly to have them graze the large green areas, but also as a contribution to biodiversity protection since the specific kind - Pinzgauer Ziegen - had been endangered for some time. When you visit, you will find that the landfill offers a home to live to many plants and animals including the crested lark, a protected species. Finally, you might get the opportunity to visit the Escape Rooms in the House of Mist, essentially a mini-tour full of riddles to solve, and you can check out all the vehicles that the 48ers use, both historic and modern.  On top of all of this, there is of course music and Austrian street food, so go - check it out - it all takes place on Rautenweg 83!

Picture: The Landfill Rautenweg is not only a model of modern waste management methods but also hosts interesting flora and fauna - including Goats that have found a safe place to live. This weekend you can visit the Landfill, get a tour, learn something new - AND visit the goats ;-). 

In the meantime, the Green World Tour takes place at the campus of Vienna University, Spitalgasse 2 - Hof 2, in the 9th district. Essentially, this is a fair combining fun with insight - open on Saturday and Sunday from 11am til 6pm - offering talks and exhibits to topics ranging from food and nutrition through design&fashion, innovation & science, construation, finance & insurance, housing & leisure, education & career, electricity & heating, mobility & logistics, and finally, entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility.  Given what you all can learn about, the event is not for free - you can get tickets online and on site, its 7 and 8 Euros respectively! Just going through the program, I am intrigued - so many interesting things - do take a look!