How a Denver Toy Library Has Helped Kids Share for 35 Years

Read the full story in Shareable.

Tucked away in the basement of Denver’s Smiley Library Branch is the Northwest Denver Toy Library. Founded in 1980, the toy library has been serving the community entirely through donations and volunteers. Last week, I sat down with Margie Herlth, who leads the operation and has been volunteering since 1996, to learn how the toy library works.

Can the plastics industry create a collaborative model for change?

Read the full story on GreenBiz.

Plastic is an inherently ubiquitous and valuable material — which is why it’s time to finally move the needle on doing a better job reusing it.

Meet the startup keeping Amazon and eBay returns out of landfills

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

American consumers are fickle creatures, sending back up to 10 percent of what they buy from merchants every year. That’s roughly 3.5 billion items. The exposure is even bigger for e-commerce sites at up to 15 percent, according to some metrics.

This is an enormous cost of business for retailers. Plus, it can take months for unwanted or damaged gadgets, apparel and other products to find a new home or (worse) to make their way into landfills.

The founders of software startup Optoro think they can make this process far more efficient…

Optoro’s business intelligence and data analytics software automates reverse logistics, helping retailers find potential buyers for unwanted or excess items more quickly. It also cuts out many touchpoints along the way: sometimes up to five “middlemen” might be involved in picking up returns, assessing the value and transporting goods to a place where they can be resold. Streamlining the process reduces the potential for damage and minimizes the environmental impact of transporting things from one place to another, Moore said.

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!