Why is Fix and Repair so Important?
Without urgent action, consumption-based emissions from nearly 100 of the world’s big cities will nearly double by 2050. Fortunately, a recent C40 Cities study reveals that there’s an incredible opportunity for cities and their residents to contribute even more to the global effort to cut emissions and address the climate emergency.
Repairing and reusing things, rather than throwing them away, helps reduce the amount of raw materials and energy used to manufacture new products. It also minimizes how much stuff goes into the landfill. Transitioning from a make-use-dispose approach to one that focuses on repair and reuse is an important part of meeting the Mayor Bowser’s goals to achieve Zero Waste by 2032 and to become a carbon neutral city by 2050.
What is a Fix-it Clinic?
Fix-It Clinics are community events dedicated to changing the “throw-it-away” mentality. Visitors bring their broken items to the Fix-It Clinic where volunteer Fix-It coaches provide guidance in troubleshooting how to repair each item.
These events not only extend the useful life of consumer goods, they create a culture of recovery and reuse by helping to shift mindsets toward considering repairing items before replacing them. Hopefully, this repair ethic will lead people to consider repairability in future purchasing decisions.
- Helps create a culture of recovery and reuse,
- Provides resources for minimizing and diverting waste, and
- Supports the creation of economic opportunities in recovery, repair, and reuse - by exposing participants to local repair services they may not otherwise know of, these events may also serve to shore up the repair industry, driving customers to repair businesses instead of defaulting to purchasing new items.
Fix-It @ Home
Want to try fixing from home? The Fix-It Clinic team (fixitclinic.org, see also facebook.com/FixitClinic) has organized Virtual Fixit Clinics, with participants and community repairers from around the world attending.
Here’s how it works: show your item to the assembly of community repairers and get suggestions for ways to repair your item. After all presentations are finished we move to Zoom breakout rooms where a subset of repairers give you more focused attention.
Sign up with your broken item and please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to sign up too. (And remember, we can look at large items like dishwashers, TVs and furniture now.)
Volunteer as a Fixer
Are you handy? Do you have repair skills you’d like to share (e.g., jewelry, small appliances, bicycles, etc.)? Sign up to be one of our Fix-it Coaches.
You can also volunteer to coach fixers virtually. Here’s how it works: participants present their item to the assembled Global Fixers and get suggestions for ways to repair the item. After all items are presented, we move to Zoom breakout rooms to implement the suggestions and, hopefully, fix the items.
Whether you want to help fix or just observe you’re heartily invited to attend: sign up well in advance.
The Labs at DC Public Library (DCPL)
Although the Labs at DCPL are also not hosting in-person events, they continue to host virtual programming. Their program topics include clothing repair, 3-D printing, and many other interesting subjects. View labs schedule and get more information.
If an item can’t be repaired, recycling used electronics can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. Certain electronics are also banned from being put in the trash in the District. The eCYCLE DC program brings individuals in the District of Columbia more options for recycling their electronics.
Please email: [email protected] with questions.
For More Information:
Check out the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network Sustainable Consumption Toolkit: Community Repair Events