Don’t pitch it – patch it up at UB repair fair on March 12

Graphical poster for the UB Repair Fair

UB is hosting a public repair fair as part of the Post-Landfil Action Network's Points of Intervention campus tour. Graphic courtesy of PLAN.

From phone charger cords to small appliances and more, volunteer fixers will do their best to get items back to working order

Release Date: March 7, 2018

“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.”
Stephanie Acquario, assistant director of environmental affairs
UB Student Association

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Is your smartphone charger cord frayed? Perhaps you lost a button on your favorite shirt. Or maybe you’ve got a prized piece of jewelry you’d like fixed.

All of these needs — and more — can be taken care of during a repair and reuse fair happening next week at the University at Buffalo.

The repair fair is happening 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, which is free and open to the public, will take place inside the Student Union on UB’s North Campus from noon to 3 p.m. March 12.

Community members can park in the Center for Tomorrow lot. Vans provided by the UB Student Association will then take people directly to the Student Union.

A panel discussion will follow from 4 to 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.

“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,” said 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,” Acquario adds.

During the repair fair, volunteer fixers will staff a variety of stations and will do their best to get the item back to working order — 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.

In addition:

  • The UB Car Club will have a vehicle on site to show participants how to perform common repairs, such as changing windshield wiper blades, filling tires with air and how to properly use jumper cables. Car repairs were the most-requested item among students, according to Acquario.
  • Brian Gavigan, a cobbler and owner of Sole Man on Elmwood Avenue, will provide information on how to select and care for leather goods like shoes and handbags to ensure they last as long as possible.
  • The UB Student Association Production team will offer tips on properly rolling wires and caring for electronics.
  • The UB Environmental Network will set up a swap shop featuring ethical fashion choices, and will show fair attendees how to use common household items to make DIY soaps, masks and scrubs.
  • The University Heights Tool Library will demonstrate how to use a variety of small tools, and how members of the public can use the Tool Library as a resource for projects of all sizes.

Attendees can watch and ask questions as their item is repaired, or check out samples from some of the informational tables that will be set up.

They include Lush, the handmade cosmetics retailer 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.

After the repair fair, four speakers will give short, TED Talk-style presentations in the Student Union Theater.

Presenters include: Eryn Wise, who works with the International Indigenous Youth Council; Amira Odeh-Quinones, who helped make one of the University of Puerto Rico’s campuses the first Latin American university to ban the sale of bottled water; Evan Zachary, coordinator of the FoodShare Center at Rochester Institute of Technology; and Melissa Miles, environmental justice organizer with the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark, N.J.

Media Contact Information

David J. Hill
News Content Manager
Public Health, Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability
Tel: 716-645-4651