Seed Library Forum Furthers International Seed Library Movement

Read the full story at Shareable.

Last week, seed library organizers and advocates from nine countries gathered in Tucson, Arizona for the International Seed Library Forum. Featuring panels, presentations, conversations, a seed swap, field trips to gardens and seed libraries, films, music and more, the event furthered the international seed sharing movement. Here are some of the highlights.

At This Fashion Library, You Check Out Clothes Instead Of Buying Them

Read the full story at Fast Company.

It’s clear most of us have an appetite for collecting a never-ending series of new outfits. But it’s an impulse we may be able to indulge without actually buying anything new—or contributing to the social and environmental costs of fast fashion. At a fashion library in Amsterdam, customers can come in as often as they want to check out a new outfit. When they want something else, they can come back to swap it out.

Free-standing tool library coming to northeast Minneapolis

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Filled with drills and workbenches, a new kind of library is setting up shop in Minneapolis.

Nestled underneath galleries and a coffee shop, a tool lending operation is opening Saturday in the basement of a northeast artist complex. Residents will be able to borrow donated items, such as hedge trimmers or power saws, for handiwork at home.

Webinar: The Circular Economy is Calling: Closing the Loop in the Smartphone Industry

April 22, 2015 – 11:00am CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6002673046428866561

Of the 1.9 billion mobile phones shipped worldwide in 2014, few will be recycled. Used electronics, including smartphones, represent one of the largest and fastest growing waste types around the globe. Yet with the emergence of the circular economy, innovative companies are stepping up and reusing, refurbishing and recycling products that would most likely be discarded, lessening their organization’s environmental impact and strengthening their bottom line.

Join this webinar to hear Darren Beck, Director of Environmental Initiatives at Sprint, share both the successes and challenges of applying closed-loop strategies to Sprint’s business. Then, the three finalists of the Smartphone Encore Challenge will share their winning ideas for upcycling old smartphones in new and profitable ways.

You’ll walk away understanding the potential of the circular economy in the electronics industry, and perhaps be inspired to revolutionize an industry yourself!

Circular economy could bring 70 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Odds are, your mobile phone is less than two years old. Today’s economy is built on a “fast turnover” principle. The faster we replace our gadgets the better – not only our phones, but most items we consume.

This leads to a staggering inefficiency in the way we manage the Earth’s resources, with increased pollution, loss of ecosystems and substantial losses of value with each product disposed. A new study from The Club of Rome, a global thinktank, highlights that moving to a circular economy by using and re-using, rather than using up, would yield multiple benefits.

What’s the Impact of the Alternative Economy? Researchers Find Out

Read the full post on Shareable.

It is increasingly apparent that today’s economy is not working for most of us. Growing inequality of wealth and income is putting the famous American middle class in danger of becoming a distant memory. Most American children now face economic prospects worse than their parents enjoyed. We suffer from more frequent financial shocks and linger in recession far longer than in the past.Our education and health care systems don’t stack up to those of other countries with similar living standards. And if all this were not enough, environmental destruction continues to escalate as we stand on the verge of triggering irreversible, and perhaps cataclysmic, climate change.

Yet, beneath the radar of the mainstream media, a diverse and energetic new generation of business models has cropped up in response to urgent, unmet needs. We’re talking about innovations like worker-owned cooperatives, credit unions,community-supported agriculture, sharing platforms and businesses, and community energy enterprises. (You may have seen organizations like this in the “new economy” section of the YES! website. But in this project we are calling them part of a “future” rather than a “new” economy because some initiatives, such as cooperatives, have been with us for centuries.)

How important are these innovations? Doing something differently isn’t inherently “good”—despite Americans’ perennial love of the next new thing. How well do these models really perform when it comes to providing prosperity for their workers and others who depend on them? Do they really deliver on their promise of distributing social and financial benefits broadly while restoring the environment?

We at the Economics for Equity and the Environment (E3) Network—more than 300 progressive environmental economists nationwide—decided it was time to find out.

New Grist Series: The real sharing economy

Via Grist.

Renewable energy is booming and countries are finally beginning to act committed to saving the climate, just as we’re approaching game over for the stable climate. But carbon emissions keep rising every year, in tandem with economic growth.

Sharing, real sharing, could allow humanity as a whole to produce, consume, and emit less while improving quality of life through greater social interactions, fairer wealth distribution, and stronger community relationships. But sharing needs to go far beyond profit-seeking smartphone apps for unregulated taxi services (Uber) and vacation rentals (Airbnb).

This series explores the real sharing economy — where wealth and power are shared, not just consumer goods and spare bedrooms. These real sharing entities share resources, knowledge, and decision-making responsibilities as they co-create community goods and services. Then they share the abundance together.

Troublingly, a grow-grow-grow economy makes us all more reliant on money. Real sharing economy projects make money less important, like the Buy Nothing groups on the Facebook and tool-lending libraries that Grist already writes about. This series will tour examples of Seattle’s emerging sharing movement: a bike cooperative, an urban food forest, and a community solar program.

Planting the seeds of a real sharing economy is no easy task. But it’s easier to share the work than go it alone.

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