Commons Transition Platform

The Commons Transition Platform is a database of practical experiences and policy proposals aimed toward achieving a more humane and environmentally grounded mode of societal organization.

These policy documents are designed to enable real world practices towards a society based on shared material and knowledge commons. We share them to give an overview of the many precedents and possibilities pointing to a fairer societal order, and inspire civil society collectives at the local, regional, national and global levels to adapt them to their particular contexts.

These Public Libraries Are for Snowshoes and Ukuleles

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls (Lewiston, Me.), fishing rods (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Frisbees and Wiffle balls (Mesa, Ariz.) and mobile hot spot devices (New York and Chicago).

Here in Sacramento, where people can check out sewing machines, ukuleles, GoPro cameras and board games, the new service is called the Library of Things.

Apple, Microsoft, Motorola wring new revenue out of e-waste

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

What do Apple, Microsoft and Motorola have in common?

All of these high-profile technology companies are harvesting new revenue out of discarded and end-of-life gadgets, rather than looking at them just as liabilities that require responsible recycling. What’s more, all three are among the roughly 100 organizations using Hong Kong’s Li Tong Group (aka LTG) to get the job done.

How the circular economy is taking off in the US

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Laptops made of plastic from old laptops. Aluminium car body parts made from old cars. Chemicals leased out, recovered, and leased again. These are just a few examples of how the circular economy, once seen as a Scandinavian speciality, is starting to spin in the United States.

Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

There are many non-profit organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area that accept donations all year. My ISTC colleague Joy Scrogum compiled a list several months ago and I’ve added to it. If there are any I missed, let me know in the comments.

Updated August 19, 2015 to the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company’s donation policies. Continue reading Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

How To Transform Plastic “Waste” into a Bottle Brick

Read the full post at Shareable.

Bottle Bricks are a simple and accessible technology that can transform everyday plastic materials into a useful building material – plastic bottles stuffed full of trash until they are as compact as bricks. Bottle Bricks are known widely as “EcoBricks” or “EcoLadrillos” in Spanish and have also been called “Portable Landfill Devices.” Bottle Bricks have been used to build houses, school buildings, and other structures for well over a decade in Latin America and they are now increasingly being used around the world as a viable way to clean up the environment; prevent plastic pollution; and create a much needed building material.

Minnesota library loans gently used prom dresses

Read the full case study at Programming Librarian.