Reuse

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.

Duluth library’s seed sharing program hits a hurdle

Read the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has given a thumbs down to a Duluth seed-sharing program that allows members to borrow vegetable seeds from the library in the spring and later return seeds they collect from their gardens.

State agriculture regulators say the exchange — one of about 300 in the United States — violates the state’s seed law because it does not test seeds…

The problem with such state laws is that they were written to regulate the commercial seed industry — not small-scale community exchanges, said Neil Thapar, an attorney for the California based Sustainable Economies Law Center. His group started advocating for seed libraries earlier this year when the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture told a library it couldn’t accept seeds from patrons. Nebraska has taken a similar position.

What Role Should Cities Play in Sustainable Consumption?

Read the full post at Shareable.

Though often satirized, Portland, Oregon’s reputation for sustainability is the product of hard work by residents, community groups, and city officials. Today Portland is on the cutting edge of an issue with which cities around the world are grappling: sustainable consumption. I recently spoke by phone to J. Lauren Norris, Residential Sustainability Outreach Coordinator at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Norris helps run the Resourceful PDX program, which encourages Portlanders to buy smart, reuse, borrow and share, and fix and maintain to reduce waste.

Norris’ experience offers a window into the practice of sustainable consumption on a municipal level, including the challenges and opportunities inherent to undertaking a mindful consumption campaign. Cities, she argues, have a critical part to play in establishing infrastructure around environmentally-conscious consumer behavior.

See below for a list of resources on sustainable consumption in Portland and around the world.

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.