Fix it! How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet – on Peace & Justice, 9am Weds. Jan 6
Written by Tom Walker on Monday, January 4, 2021
This Wednesday January 6 at 9am our guest was Sandra Goldmark, Associate Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Campus Sustainability and Climate Action at Barnard College. She’s the author of the new book Fixation: How to Have Stuff without Breaking the Planet. Her website is FIXUP.
To watch a great twenty-minute video about the problems we talked about watch The Story of Stuff.
Our massive, global system of consumption is broken. Our individual relationship with our stuff is broken. In each of our homes, some stuff is broken. And the strain of rampant consumerism and manufacturing is breaking our planet. We need big, systemic changes, from public policy to global economic systems. But we don’t need to wait for them.
Since founding Fixup, a pop-up repair shop that brought her coverage in The New York Times, Salon, New York Public Radio, and more, Sandra Goldmark has become a leader in the movement to demand better “stuff.” She doesn’t just want to help us clear clutter—she aims to move us away from throwaway culture, to teach us to reuse and repurpose more thoughtfully, and to urge companies to produce better stuff. Although her goal is ambitious, the solution to getting there is surprisingly simple and involves all of us: have good stuff, not too much, mostly reclaimed, care for it, and pass it on.
Fixation charts the path to the next frontier in the health, wellness, and environmental movements—learning how to value stewardship over waste. We can choose quality items designed for a long lifecycle, commit to repairing them when they break, and shift our perspective on reuse and “preowned” goods. Together, we can demand that companies get on board. Goldmark shares examples of forward-thinking companies that are thriving by conducting their businesses sustainably and responsibly.
Passionate, wise, and practical, Fixation offers us a new understanding of stuff by building a value chain where good design, reuse, and repair are the status quo.