Lenox Fix-It Fair: Supporting Skillsharing and Sustainable Living

Lenox Fix-It Fair Pools Skills to Reduce Community Impact on Waste Stream

Have a toaster that just won’t toast? Favorite wool socks whose heels have worn through? A lamp whose cord has frayed? Bring fixable items to the Lenox Fix-It Fair, an event pooling community fixing knowledge in order to give life to repairable items. From appliances to toys and everything in between, the Fix-It Fair aims to reduce consumption and waste!

What happens when your toaster breaks, and the cost to have it repaired is more than you paid for it in the first place? In the interest of the earth, it would make sense to have it repaired rather than dumping it and purchasing a new one. However, when repair doesn’t make financial sense, we often end up wasting still-useful items in order to make the most financially sound decision for ourselves. It’s no secret that we are a consumerist society, and even those of us who intend to reduce, reuse, recycle, and extend the life of the things that we own sometimes end up making the choice to trash rather than treasure when we lack the skills or financial resources to maintain or repair.

However, communities nationwide (some of them local) have begun to offer creative solutions to the replace-or-repair dilemma so frequently faced: collaborative repair events, where community members with specific skills band together to repair and revitalize items in need of specific care in order to be fully functional. On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the town of Lenox will offer the first ever Lenox Fix-It Fair, an event designed to draw upon the many skills of community members in order to create a more sustainable community. Held from 1-4pm at the Lenox Community Center, the Fix-It Fair is the place to be for fixing of all kinds. Expert tinkerers, repairers, menders, and sewers will offer their skills to the public for free, offering a one-stop fixing shop to support the community in reducing its impact on the global waste stream.

Items that can be repaired at the Fix-It Fair include small appliances, easy-to-move furniture, bicycles, toys, clothing, and other similar household things. Volunteer fixers will be on hand to inspect, troubleshoot, and (is possible) repair items brought to the event. While there’s no guarantee that items can be fixed, there’s a good chance that someone at the event will be able to do something to help.

The event is free, and will be run and staffed by volunteers. Community members with helpful skills are wanted so as to offer further fixing support. Those interested in volunteering should call Kate McNulty-Vaughn at 413-637-0233. Have an idea of what item(s) you might bring to the event? Let volunteers know ahead of time so that they can be prepared! Call Ellen Jacobson at 413-441-0686 to share information about your repair-worthy item. The Lenox Community Center is located at 65 Walker Street.

[Photo credit: (cc) Jason Seliskar]

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