What about swag?

We’re in the full swing of preparing for our Fix-it Fair 2017, and thinking a lot about how to host an event that is aligned with our principles in execution as well as in content.

As an environmental organization, Clean is always careful not to give away extraneous junk – we do get branded pens to give out, but we get the kind made from recycled paper, for example. We try not to get swag* made out of plastic, unless it’s recovered plastic that will be used in its new form for a long time, and can be recycled.

So for the Fix-it Fair, we didn’t want to buy new stuff to give away if we could avoid it – the whole purpose of the event is to celebrate creative ways of making less.

We wanted to make t-shirts for our volunteers and staff to wear during the event (it’s important to know who you can ask questions!), but it seemed silly to buy brand-new matching t-shirts for a one-day event. Part of the fun of repairing and upcycling is having an end product that reflects the journey that item went through. So instead of buying new shirts, we’re getting the Fix-it Fair logo screen-printed onto a whole heap of shirts we got from Value Village!

Here they all are, being freshened up to get ready for screen-printing!

Here are a few other things we’re doing to keep the event as low-waste as possible:

  • HRM Solid Waste will be there (and has donated backyard composters that you could win as a prize!), and will give a workshop about What Goes Where. Not only will we learn about how to sort our event waste properly, we’ll also make sure we’re all doing it at home the right way too!
  • Most of our marketing is electronic – we won’t be papering the whole town with flyers and posters. Full disclosure: we did print a batch of business card-size info cards for our vendors to give to their customers and clients, but we chose the small size to keep the footprint low.
  • We’re asking all of our vendors and presenters to make sure that their presentations and giveaways are aligned with the theme. Of course they’re into it!

If you’re planning a major event, here, here, here, and here are some great resources to help you think about how to keep it as low-waste and low-impact as you can.

*Did you know SWAG is an acronym? It stands for Stuff We All Get. Maybe everyone already knew that!

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