Published March 7, 2018
Is your smartphone charger cord frayed? Perhaps you lost a button on your favorite shirt. Or maybe your favorite necklace needs fixing. All of these needs — and more — can be taken care of during a repair and reuse fair happening next week in the Student Union lobby, North Campus.
The repair fair is being hosted by UB Sustainability as part of the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) Points of Intervention campus tour, which is visiting 12 other universities across the country this spring.
The event will take place inside the Student Union from noon to 3 p.m. March 12. It is open to all UB faculty, staff and students, as well as the public. A panel discussion will follow from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. Panelists will discuss the various points of intervention in the linear consumption economy, such as extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal.
More information is available on the UB Sustainability website.
PLAN’s Points of Intervention tour aims to highlight the individuals and organizations that are challenging the linear consumption model and instead working toward a circular model that favors renewable energy and the elimination of waste.
“This isn’t just a waste event, but one of the key points we hope to drive home is the importance of reusing things and not just throwing them away when they’re broken,” says Stephanie Acquario, a senior and assistant director of environmental affairs for the UB Student Association, who is helping coordinate the event. “A lot of people don’t know how to fix things. It’s like the item disappears when they throw it away, but it still exists and it ends up in a landfill.”
During the repair fair, volunteer fixers will staff a variety of fixing stations and will do their best to get the item back to working order. It should be noted that repairs are not guaranteed and all participants will be required to sign a waiver.
Stations will be set up for repairs to bicycles, small appliances and electronics (such as lamps and vacuums) and textiles, as well as general repairs for items like furniture, tools and wood products.
The best part about the event, organizers say, is that attendees can watch and ask questions as their item is repaired, so that the next time it needs fixing, they’ll know how to do it.
But the repair fair isn’t just for folks who need something fixed, Acquario says, pointing out there will be lots of informational tables to check out, and samples to try, from PLAN corporate sponsors and non-profit organizations. They include Lush, the handmade cosmetics retailer that has a store in the Walden Galleria Mall; Guayaki, which makes fair trade organic teas; and Klean Kanteen, which introduced the first stainless steel, BPA-free, reusable water bottle in 2004. PLAN will also have a DIY sewing kit table and, just for fun, a photo booth.
UB Sustainability has wanted to host a repair café for the past few years now. “There has been this movement around the country with repair cafés. We wanted to connect what we do here at UB with the larger community effort,” says Erin Moscati, sustainability education manager for UB Sustainability.
Campus sponsors for the event include the Office of Sustainability, Student Association and Campus Living. Other partners are the city of Buffalo Recycling Department and the University Heights Tool Library, which recently partnered on a few repair cafés.
After the repair fair, four speakers will give short, TED Talk-style presentations in the Student Union Theater. Presenters include: