Taking the Stigma Out of Buying Used Electronics

Read the full story in the New York Times.

GameStop’s refurbishment of video game consoles underlines how a used electronic sold by a reputable brand can often be as good as buying new. While a used product may lack the original packaging or there might be some scuffs on it, the quality of many of the devices remains high and people who buy the gadgets do the world a favor by putting more use into the energy, metals, plastics and human labor invested in creating the product, said Carole Mars, the senior research lead for the Sustainability Consortium, which studies the sustainability of consumer goods.

Sharing Cities Book Project Seeks International Case Studies

Via Shareable.

One of Shareable’s core projects this year is to produce a new book and digital database comprised of case studies and model policies to support the growth of Sharing Cities. We have covered sharing extensively in its many forms for more than six years, from little free libraries on street corners to distributed and cooperative platforms. We are now excited to highlight how cities around the world are being reimagined.

This is where you come in. For the next 30 days, our international team will be searching the globe for exemplary projects and legislations that are already showcasing what our cities can, and should, look like. While we have an excellent group leading this process, we need your help to increase the breadth and depth of our search.

We are currently examining 12 core civic sectors for the book as well as other sectors to be included in our database: housing, food, mobility, work, land, water, energy, waste, information and communications technology, culture, finance, and governance.

Do you know of case studies or current policies that should be included? Please contribute to the success of this project by filling out

Brown’s FLIP Library Lends Textbooks to Low-Income Students

Read the full story in Library Journal.

Since the spring of 2015, Brown University’s John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library has been home to a new lending service—the First Generation Low Income Partnership (FLIP) Library. The FLIP Library makes textbooks available, free of charge, to students who may otherwise find it challenging to cover the high cost of texts required for their coursework.

Webinar: Effective Outreach to Drive Recycling & Reuse Behavior

Tue, Apr 19, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7634783716567560451

Successful recycling and waste reduction programs require education to make sure people know what to do and communicate a reason to participate. Getting results from your outreach efforts, however, requires thoughtful planning and an understanding of what will influence student and staff behavior. This program will feature a primer on behavior change principles by a recognized leader in community based social marketing, followed by two case studies from universities that have incorporated behavior change strategies into their outreach programs. Program examples will include using before and after waste audits combined with targeted education to reduce contamination, and a case study on a refillable water bottle campaign that featured a marketing campaign with pledging and incentive components.


  • Jennifer Tabanico, Action Research
  • Delicia Nahman, Lehigh University
  • Katharine Targett, Lehigh University
  • Jamie Adams, SUNY Oswego

How to Start a Toy Library: 12 Quick Tips

Read the full post at Shareable.

Sharing toys can be done casually between friends or through a full-time space with hundreds of toys for the community at-large to borrow. What your toy library looks like depends on your needs, resources, and community.

Whatever the size of your toy library, there are several proven ways to make it easier for your library team to start and run a toy library. Here are 12 quick tips for starting a toy library from a webinar hosted by The Center for a New American Dream.

Where the Wild Kids Are

Read the full story in CityLab.

Adventure playgrounds aren’t a new concept. Also known as waste-material playgrounds, they were popularized in Europe and the U.K. after World War II, when people realized that kids were playing in bombed-out lots. “It was a very urban, rough play experience,” explains Robin Meyer, a playground design project manager and one of eight board members of play:groundNYC. Hanna Rosin gave a great overview in her 2014 Atlantic article on the subject, and Erin Davis’s 2015 film The Land documents a modern Welsh adventure playground in all its tree-climbing, fire-starting, free-range glory.

The primary components of an adventure playground are moveable parts (which can include items like boxes, pipes, paint, hammers, and even saws) and trained, paid grown-up “playworkers,” who oversee and facilitate the play without interfering. Children are free to build their own structures, tear them down, climb, graffiti, create. They are encouraged to take calculated risks in order to learn resilience, grit, and problem-solving skills. The concept of vandalism is moot at an adventure playground—it is child-led play in its freest, most anarchic form. It is organized chaos.

How to make cool stuff out of wooden pallets

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

So you just put new sod in your yard and it arrived on wooden pallets. Instead of tossing perfectly good wood into the landfill upcycle them into something that you can enjoy on a daily basis. Here are 10 creative ideas to get you started: