New Minnesota Bill a Step in the Right Direction for Seed Sharing

Read the full story at Shareable.

Last week, SF 132, a bill exempting certain organizations from Minnesota seed law, was introduced to the Minnesota State Legislature. Authored by State Senator Roger Reinert who represents District 7, including Duluth, where the city council recently passed a seed sharing resolution, the bill has been referred to the Senate Jobs, Agriculture, and Rural Development Committee.

The bill, which has several co-authors, is an attempt to clarify who the state seed law applies to. It’s a step in the right direction for exempting seed sharing from laws intended for commercial seed companies, but seed activists, both in Duluth and those working on a national scale, including the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), say the bill needs further clarification.

If you want to get similar legislation going in your state, visit to sign a petition to the director of your State Department of Agriculture.

SELC and Shareable Kickoff Campaign to Save Seed Sharing in the U.S.

Read the full post at Shareable.

For the Save Seed Sharing campaign, SELC is partnering with Shareable, Richmond Grows, several other organizations including Seed Matters, SeedSavers Exchange, and concerned citizens. The campaign is designed to educate people about seed sharing issues, support seed sharing communities, and reform overzealous seed laws. The campaign goals are:

  • Educate stakeholders about how seed laws apply to seed sharing through seed libraries.
  • Build public awareness and grassroots support for seed libraries.
  • Empower local stakeholders to engage in policy advocacy to support seed sharing.
  • Remove legal barriers to seed sharing through seed libraries.
  • Support seed libraries that face regulation under seed laws.

The circular economy is coming — who’s leading the charge?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The Circular Economy Awards — or the Circulars, as they have been affectionately monikered, like the “Oscars” — will recognize the pioneers taking circular economy principles and making them a reality.

Backed by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, in collaboration with Accenture, awards organizers have spent the last few months inviting organizations and people from the worlds of business, civil society and academia to enter initiatives that prove moving beyond a traditional linear economy is achievable and profitable.

Introducing the Sharing Cities Toolkit

Read the full post at Shareable.

Shareable has been expanding its organizing program to support the creation of sharing cities for over a year. We’ve offered seed funding for new sharing projects, coordinated global events like the #MapJam and ShareFests, sponsored a fellowship program, hosted numerous trainings, and facilitated the international Sharing Cities Network (SCN). Beginning last Summer, we responded to the calls from SCN organizers who voiced a need for a cohesive repository of resources to support their work.

To meet this need we’ve created the Sharing Cities Toolkit; an evolving compilation of resources with a mix of how-to’s, project guides, sample policies, advice and more. While a lot of these resources have been created by Shareable over the last five years, we’re curating the best content from many organizations including the Sustainable Economies Law Center, Aorta Collective, Center for a New American Dream, OuiShare and others.

Seed Libraries and State Laws

Read the full story in American Libraries.

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an article in the forthcoming January/February 2015 issue of American Libraries. The full article will be available online on January 5.

The rise of seed exchanges—now numbering more than 300 across the US—has been accompanied by plenty of enthusiasm from librarians and patrons. But Cumberland County (Pa.) Library System’s Simpson Seed Library attracted a whirlwind of controversy and misinformation over the summer after receiving a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (DOA), warning that the seed library might not be complying with state law.

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.