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Posts Tagged ‘capacity-building’

If it’s broke – Fix it!

Posted in Events, Movements, Seeking by ecoApril on January 17th, 2012

19 February , 2012
11:00 amto3:00 pm

Photo from the 2011 Repair Workshop by Fernando De Sousa


A free, friendly workshop to repair (or reimagine) broken household items will be staged for this year’s Sustainable Living Festival at Melbourne’s Federation Square.

Collaborative Fix it! repair sessions are hosted by community members who believe there are better options than sending broken objects on a one-way ticket to landfill.  Fix it! was founded by locals April Seymore, Renae Crosthwaite and Chandra Sundareswaran with the support of Sustainability Victoria and Metropolitan Waste Management Group. The friends want to share skills and build public confidence for repairing items that otherwise literally go to waste.

“We hear so much about our current ‘throw away society’ and we want to change that thought process,” said April.  “Part of the Fix it! philosophy is to inspire participants to host fixing get-togethers in future. So while we will repair items at the Festival at no charge, we will also demonstrate how repair is achievable, affordable and help everyone feel capable.  Helping people hem their garment or gain the self-assurance to repair a basic electrical item could make a huge difference to the amount and types of things that are clogging up landfill, dumped on nature strips, or donated broken to Op Shops who don’t have repair capacity.”

Recent repair, creating and upcycling events in Melbourne have met with enormous success. Artists and technicians at the July 2011 Repair Workshops rescued 3 tonnes from landfill, and this year’s Mini Maker Faire® sold out tickets almost immediately.  Repair novices and gurus alike are welcome to drop into the festival workshop to sample repair projects. To BYO project, register your lamp, clothing, or woodworking repair request via email. Or simply share your fixing photos or questions with the Fix it! team via Facebook (Fix It Community) or Twitter (@FixItMelbourne).

There will be three themed Fix it! areas: Stitches—focusing on textiles; Switches—examining electrical appliances; and Splinters—woodworking with hand tools.

Get Involved: Fix it! is looking for skilled volunteers (Fixers) to assist in each of the focus areas at the Sustainable Living Festival. If you can lend a hand in the stitches, switches or splinters areas contact the team at

The Sustainable Living Festival runs from 11-26 February, with Fix it! held from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm on Sunday the 19th at Federation Square in the city.

For further information and photo opportunities email

The Tankulator: Rain Harvesting Calculator

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on October 28th, 2011

Photo by AWWS via flickr CC

The Tankulator is a free online rain harvesting calculator that can help you plan for a new rainwater tank or improve the performance of an existing tank.

The Tankulator has been developed by the Alternative Technology Association, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable solutions for the home. Click on the Get Started button, fill out the online questionnaire then click on the Get Tankulating button. An interactive graph will appear that will display your calculations.

Once the calculation is complete, you can compare different scenarios to find the best match for your circumstances. Will you run out of rainwater in a dry year if you live in Canberra and plumb a 10,000 litre tank to your toilet and laundry?

Buying a rainwater tank?
  • Tank Materials: Compare the cost, environmental impact, life span and other specs of different types of tank materials. Hear what ATA members say about the tanks they have chosen.
  • Tank Siting and Installation: What will fit on your property and where to put it? Pros and cons of different approaches to placement and installation of your tanks.
  • Tank Filtration: What kind of filtration do you need on your system? What degree of maintenance are you willing to undertake?
  • Pumps: Most rainwater systems will need a pump; what do you need to know? Also, pumps can use a lot of energy but there are ways to design your pumping system to reduce energy use.
Visit the Tankulator website to find out more.

A free online seminar on rainwater harvesting and greywater will be held by the ATA on Tuesday, November 8 at 11am. Visit for more details.