Green lifestyle

How to Throw a Holiday Gift Swap

Read the full post at Shareable.

The holidays are imbued with the spirit of giving, and that doesn’t have to mean buying. Gift swaps, which can be held at any time, are particularly fun and valuable around the holidays. We can avoid contributing to the consumerist madness, bring friends together, and give new life to things that have been collecting dust.

Shareable asked Detroit’s Sharing Cities Network coordinator Halima Cassells, who describes herself as an artist, mom, gardener, independent media maker, and lover of all things turquoise, for tips on throwing a great holiday swap. An experienced swap organizer who recently hosted the 300-plus person Free Market Holiday Swap, Cassells urges people to embrace abundance, challenge hyper-consumerist conditioning, and get into the swapping spirit.

9 Green Gift Ideas For The Holiday Season

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

Want to give gifts that your friends and family will love while still caring about the environment? Giving green gifts is about more than just choosing a sustainable product. There are lots of ways to give gifts that can help your friends be more environmentally conscious or that don’t require buying any items at all. Check out these ideas from our gift guide to get you on your way to a happy (and green) holiday!

How to Start a Bike Kitchen

Read the full post at Shareable.

A bike kitchen is a place for people to repair their bikes, learn safe cycling, make bicycling more accessible, build community, and support sustainable transportation by getting more people on bikes. Most bike kitchens have tools, parts, mechanics, and a community of knowledgeable cyclists.

Around the world there are thousands of bike kitchens — also known as bike churches, bike collectives and bike coops — and more popping up all the time (see maps here). For those interested in starting a bike kitchen in your town, we’ve rounded up the essentials of getting started, from finding the right space and volunteers, to raising money, getting the word out, defining community guidelines, and creating a space that is accessible and welcoming to all.

Why going to the library is one of the best things I do for my kids and the planet

Read the full post at Treehugger.

My two kids and I head to the library every week and it’s one of my favorite things. I love getting a huge bag of books and feeling the excitement to get home and read them and see where they take us. It’s a strong memory I have from my own childhood and I cherish getting to repeat it with them, but the more time I spend at the library with my family, the more I realize its benefits go beyond just a bag of new books to read.

The resources libraries provide and the values they reinforce are making my kids into better human beings and helping the planet along the way.

Americans Are Commuting Less

Read the full story in Governing.

Nationwide, the percentage of workers who commute by car declined from 88 percent in 2000 to 86 percent in 2010-2013, according to a Stateline analysis of census numbers.  Car commuting percentages were down dramatically in some urban areas, but also in smaller Western towns that are making a focused effort to promote alternatives.

To End Food Waste, Change Needs To Begin At Home

Read the full story from NPR.

Food is the largest single source of waste in the U.S. More food ends up in landfills than plastic or paper.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 20 percent of what goes into municipal landfills is food. Food waste tipped the scale at 35 million tons in 2012, the most recent year for which estimates are available.

The enormous amount of wasted food is weighing on our food system.