Energy Adviser: DIY Fair knocks off to-dos



All of us dread those to-do lists of home projects just begging to be checked off. There’s that broken bike in the garage aching for a fix, the drafty space around your front door itching to be filled, and that hole in the sheetrock yearning for a patch.

Perhaps you are putting off such “to-dos” because you’re not sure how to get started? Or, maybe you’re worried they won’t turn out right? Or you simply think you need expert advice. If so, the Clark County DIY Fair on Saturday probably has some answers that may not only ease your mind, but might make you grab your toolbox.

The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. event at Clark College’s Gaiser Hall is free. The event sponsor, Clark County Environmental Services, has partnered with many local experts from Bad Monkey Bikes, Clark County Information and Technology, Clark County Public Health, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Master Composters/Recyclers, Urban Forestry, Waste Connections Inc., Watershed Stewards and Clark Public Utilities.

Choose from two dozen, 45-minute presentations given by local experts and event partners. Each presentation promises to help you learn how to attack simple home repairs, recycle and reuse materials, as well as practice sustainability.

Homeowners may find topics of interest such as basic plumbing and wiring, screen door and window repair and even bicycle repair and maintenance. Let’s not forget sheetrock repair to fix that hole by the front door the kids made banging the door open and weatherization projects that can improve comfort and help homeowners cut energy waste.

If there’s a specific topic you’re interested in, be sure to schedule carefully, because several presenters will be covering their topics at the same time, and you may have to pick and choose which sessions to attend strategically.

Presentations offered on sustainability practices will include composting basics, building rain barrels and rain gardens, weed control and how to dispose properly of everything from old partially filled paint cans to electronics.

“We’re trying to help people save money by doing things themselves, as well as assisting them in helping the environment,” said Jim Mansfield of Clark County Environmental Services.

First held in 2008, the DIY event started off as a half-dozen presentations stretching over an afternoon. This year it has blossomed to a full Saturday with two dozen presentations. Last year’s event attracted almost 200 people, Mansfield said.

CFL exchange

Along with the presentations, Clark Public Utilities will offer free services. If you bring in unbroken and burned-out compact fluorescent bulbs, the utility will exchange old for new, for up to six new ones per person. Fluorescent tubes or fixtures cannot be accepted at this event.

Whether you’re looking to save money, expand your skills or just want to dive into a project with more confidence, the DIY Fair has something to offer.

Held at Clark College Gaiser Hall, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Clark County Environmental Services sponsors the annual DIY Fair in cooperation with community partners to showcase sustainable practices you can use to reduce waste and protect the environment and advise you how to handle your projects. For more information or to register contact Jim Mansfield, Clark County Environmental Services, at 360-397-6118 ext. 4016 or

Energy adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.