Category: Blog

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Earth Day isn’t an Event You Attend. It’s a Lifestyle.

Earth Day was launched in April 1970 by Denis Hayes and has evolved into an international day of action – observed by 200 countries around the world – to inspire people to make environmentally conscious decisions while provoking policy changes.

Every year on April 22nd environmentalists, activists and citizens organize and attend events that demonstrate support for environmental protection. They scour the beaches for plastic waste, they organize vegetarian potlucks, they attend swaps, they hold rallies, they discuss much-needed political action to stop the harmful impacts of climate change.

Given that we are running out of time to make the structural changes necessary to save the planet, at the Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot, we like to live like it’s Earth Day every day. Keeping in mind that we aren’t going to save the earth with a better kind of disposable coffee cup and that 60-80% of the negative impacts on the planet come from household consumption, we like to focus on the root of the problem: the inefficient use of the earth’s resources and the act of individual mass consumption itself. 

How do we do this? By focusing on four Rs:

  • RECIRCULATEprovide spaces of access where people can borrow things they don’t need to own as individuals. If the average drill is used for just 13 minutes in its useable lifespan, what is the point of having a drill in every household? It makes more sense to share things like tools, camping gear, party supplies, toys, board games, etc as a community. We also host swapping events throughout the year (such as this one and this one), giving people an opportunity to recirculate items that already exist rather than purchasing new in store.
  • REGENERATE – provide spaces and tools for people to learn the art of repair. We host weekly events with Repair Cafe Toronto at our 830 St Clair W location, an opportunity for people to not only get broken items fixed, but learn how to do it themselves.
  • REIMAGINE – closely related to repair, reimagining involves taking materials that already exist but may no longer be useful and transforming them into something people need. We provide space to organizations like Boomerang Bags Toronto who take used textiles and transform them into reusable bags for the community. We’ve also just launched a new initiative called CraftWorks, which will provide classes to empower people with skills in repair, sewing, mending, making and creating, with a focus on upcycling and reusing materials. Buy less, waste less, create more.
  • REFUSE – some materials just shouldn’t exist at all, such as single-use plastic. We partner with organizations like Saponetti to provide greater access to package-free items.

Do you see the through line? By focusing on recirculating, regenerating, reimagining and refusing, we can shift our relationship with resources from a take-use-waste linear approach to a circular approach where waste is designed out. This is about reinventing our relationship to the earth’s resources, and by extension, our relationships to each other.

While it’s going to take more than bringing your own reuable bag to the grocery store to scale these things to make the four Rs above the norm for our society (for instance, we should have libraries of things in every neighborhood and we should have repair malls like in Sweden) we can begin making choices to generate a culture shift that will lay the foundation for larger scale changes.

Here is a guide to give you some inspiration on how to live like it’s #EarthDayEveryday:

1) Avoid Buying Things New

When you purchase an item new in a store, you are creating demand in the market for that product, essentially voting for more of that thing to be made. But over-consumption is harming the planet, with research showing connections between the environmental consequences of consumerism and climate destabilization. 

Drop below the radar of the invisible hand by swapping, trading, borrowing and utilizing Toronto’s ‘free markets.’

  • Trade for items using the popular Toronto-based app Bunz Trading Zone. This is a particularly efficient and easy way to find what you need second hand thanks to the app’s handy search function: if there is something in particular you are looking for, you just plug it into the search bar and any user with that item up for trade pops up.
  • Borrow items from your local Library of Things or from your neighbours using the handy app Peerby.
  • Borrow clothes rather than constantly purchasing new items that eventually become boring or fall out of style. You can become a member of Fresh Fashion Library to get access to their entire inventory of clothing, shoes and accessories – like a big community closet! You can borrow fancy outfits and dresses for special occasions via Rent Frock Repeat and stylish designer clothes via Boro. Or purchase clothes second hand from thrift or consignment stores (one of our personal favourites is Common Sort)
  • Go on a treasure hunt at Toronto’s Really Really Free Market, which takes place the first Saturday of every month. And yes, it’s exactly as it sounds – all the pre-loved items are really, really free.
  • Look for items on Toronto’s Freecycle app, another great resource where Torontonians post items they no longer want, offering to the community for free. This app also has a search function, making it easy to find specific items.
  • Get your community involved with a Secondhand Sunday event, which is a city-wide event taking place on Sunday, April 28. During Secondhand Sunday, participating neighborhoods simply leave unwanted items next to the sidewalk or curb for their neighbours to browse and take. That thing your neighbour no longer wants could be exactly what you need!

2) Dare To Repair

When something breaks down, don’t throw it away! Take it to the amazing ‘fixperts’ at your local Repair Café. Repair Café Toronto is an invaluable resource in this city and we now have a space for them at our 830 St Clair West location where they hold weekly repair events every Sunday afternoon from 12-4pm! Bring your broken treasures and get them fixed!

Getting things repaired not only pushes back against the wasteful practice of built-in obsolescence, it also supports a culture of repair by showing governments that there is a demand for this sort of thing. These are the kinds of movements that can encourage sustainable policy changes that tackle throwaway culture. For example, Sweden implemented tax breaks on repairs to incentivize people to utilize repair services, create jobs in the repair sector and put pressure on companies to design better products.

Toronto also has an amazing clothing repair service – Toronto Clothing Repairathon –  which pops up at various farmer’s markets and community events around the city to repair people’s damaged textiles for free. Join their Facebook group to stay up-to-date on their events.

SIGN THE RIGHT TO REPAIR PETITION

MPP for Don Valley East Michael Coteau has finally brought the right to repair movement to Ontario with the introduction of a private members bill that would force companies to provide instructions and parts to consumers and local repair shops.

Currently, big tech companies do not provide these, creating a monopoly on the repair of their products. This often makes it more expensive to repair a device than to replace it, forcing people to purchase new devices. Excellent for corporate profits – bad for people and planet.
Right to repair laws will:

  • make it cheaper to get your broken devices fixed
  • support local repair shops and businesses
  • keep electronics in circulation and out of landfill

3) Practice Proper Disposal 

When an item has definitely reached the end of its useable lifespan or you no longer have use for it, retire it with dignity by disposing of it properly and with care or donating it responsibly:

  • Check out this list of charities in Toronto for where to donate various items that are still in good working order.
  • Use the search bar on Toronto’s Waste Wizard for inspiration and answers to questions about where to properly dispose of items (which will also generate a list of charities for still functional goods).
  • For textiles that are no longer suitable for donation or swaps, check out this amazing service in Toronto – Textile Waste Diversion. They take everything in their bins and ensure it’s properly recycled. Textile waste is a growing problem and we should do everything we can to keep textiles from entering the regular waste stream.
  • For electronics recycling, check out this list of resources for e-waste recyclers in Toronto.

4) Reduce Your Reliance on Single-Use Packaging & Plastics 

We are in the midst of a shift in relation to the global plastic epidemic. Since plastic production ramped up in the 1950s, scientists estimate that we’ve produced upwards of 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, most of which has gone into landfills and waterways rather than recycling centres (only 9% of plastic gets recycled globally Even if recycling rates were increased, the amount of destruction involved in the creation and distribution of plastic materials is just as problematic for the environment.

“By the time waste gets recycled, 95% of the environmental damage has already occurred – in manufacturing, in oil extraction, in the poisoning of our rivers and air…the output of carbon.”

– Daniel Hoornweg

By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, which explains why we are finding so many plastic particles in the sea food we eat and why whales and other marine animals are dying due to plastic ingestion (researchers estimate over 100,000 marine mammals and over 1 million sea birds die by plastic each year). Broken down bits of plastic (microplastics) are now being found inside bottled water, in our soil and even in human poop.

The solution to the plastic epidemic lies in stopping the creation and distribution of the materials – in other words, government bans and regulations. Kenya enacted a plastic bag ban that carries with it a hefty fine and a jail sentence for possession of plastic bags. Vanatu, Chile and, most recently, New Zealand have enacted their own plastic bag bans. France banned plastic plates, cups and cutlery. The EU has backed what is being called the most extensive single-use plastic action plan in the world and the conversation has also begun in Canada. While what we really need is a comprehensive, global strategy, at least this is a start.

In the meantime, you can take action on your own to reduce your reliance on single-use plastics by making strategic decisions about what and where you get your products from. Here’s how to assemble a zero waste kit to avoid single use plastics while on the go and here’s a zero waste lifestyle guide for Toronto to get you started.

5) Make Your Own Cleaners/Personal Care Products

Skip the nasty chemicals found in everyday cleaning and personal care products by learning how to make them yourself out of natural ingredients (this will simultaneously help you reduce waste as you won’t have to buy them pre-packaged):

  • Anarres Natural Health in Toronto runs workshopson how to make your own cleaners and personal care products.
  • Check out our Pinterest Board full of DIY recipes for skin-care and personal care products.
  • Follow the SheMade Factory, who runs courses on natural DIY personal care products and natural cleaners.
  • For The Love Of Body in Toronto runs DIY Workshops on nutrition and healthy living, including a range of personal care products. They will also run custom workshops for small groups so you can request something specific.
  •  Wanna Be Toxic Free runs monthly meetup groups in Toronto that discuss these issues.
  • Follow @YourEcoFriend on Instagram who runs workshops through the Toronto Public Library on how to make zero waste, eco-friendly cleaning products.

6) Upcycle 

Need a new reusable bag? Garden watering can on the fritz? Wallet seen better days? Before you go searching out new items, explore the many ways that the things around your house can magically transform into that thing you were about to go out and spend money on. For instance:

  • An old t-shirt becomes a no-sew tote or reusable shopping bag (the same thing can be done using a pillow case).
  • Sign-up with Boomerang Bags Toronto, who make reusable bags out of deadstock and unwanted textiles.
  • An old juice or milk jug is actually just a watering can waiting to happen.
  • A juice carton can be made into a surprisingly durable wallet.
  • Plastic bottles have too many alternative uses to even count.

The Internet is full of creative, interesting and fun transformations for old items that will keep them from ending up in landfill while saving you money. To support you in learning some of the more complicated techniques of repair and upcycling – such as visible mending, weaving, rug-making, crochet, knitting, sewing, etc. – we’ve launched a group dedicated to teaching such skills: CraftWorks.

7) Eat Less Meat

The environmental impact on the planet of diets that rely heavily on meat and animal products has been the subject of much debate and many a documentary over the last few years. Farming animals for food generates more carbon emissions than ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other forms of transport put together, threatens delicate aquatic ecosystems by polluting global waterways with runoff from farms, and contributes to a loss of biodiversity due to the clear-cutting of land required to raise and feed the animals. In a world that is entering an era of water shortages, we need to be mindful that meat production is also extremely water-intensive: it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef and only 220 gallons of water necessary to produce one pound of tofu. The UN has begun urging governments to promote diets less reliant on meat, and Health Canada has responded by revamping the Canada Food Guideto encourage a plant-based, low-meat diet.

While you might not be ready to give up meat entirely, you could consider cutting back. This has been the goal of the Earth Day Network’s #MeatlessMondays, a campaign that encourages people to skip animal products for at least one day a week. The impact of this is bigger than it sounds – for instance, skipping meat and cheese for just one day a week would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks.

8) Choose Green Transportation Options

This is perhaps an obvious one, but it’s important. Air pollution from cars, pick-up trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) continues to be one of the highest environmental priorities and challenges in Canada. When you can, opt for a greener transportation option to keep fewer cars on the road:

  • get on a bicycle – Bike Share Toronto has many conveniently located access points across the city and for the cost of an annual membership, you can ditch your four-wheeler for a two-wheeler.
  • take public transportation
  • #ShareTheRide with BlancRide – this Toronto-based app connects you with drivers or passengers that are heading in the same direction as you, car-pooling made easy.

9) Reduce Food Waste

Wasted food has a HUGE impact on the environment – not to mention the insult of wasting food when billions of people on the planet don’t have enough to eat.

One third of food produced globally is wasted annually and when it end up in landfills, food waste releases methane gas – which has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. In Canada, half of the 27 billion dollars worth of food wasted every year comes from homes. Let’s repeat that: we throw out $27 billion dollars worth of food in Canada every year and half of that is coming form our household refrigerators. In Toronto alone, single-family households are throwing out about 275 kilos each year.

Taking steps to cut back on our food waste is a great way to make it #EarthDayEveryday:

  • Try implementing and following a weekly meal plan so you only buy what you need and use it up on time.
  • Support Toronto’s first pay-what-you-can grocery store – Feed It Forward – which is stocked using ‘food waste,’ more appropriately termed ‘surplus food.’
  • Test out the app Foodful.ly, which will help you keep track of what’s in your fridge and prompt you with recipes to help you use what you have before it expires.
  • If you haven’t already, check out the app FlashFood which will enable you to purchase discounted food that is coming up to its expiry date at participating grocery stores.
  • Support the work of LifTOvers, a start-up in Toronto that is connecting perfectly good leftover food from social and catering events to those who are hungry in the city. You can follow them on Twitter @lifTOvers

10) Organize Community Cleanups

Community cleanups often happen around environment days such as Earth Day. These are a great way to not only cleanse our public spaces of trash, but also serve to bring people together to strengthen community.

Consider launching a community group that organizes regular cleanups around various parts of your city or register with Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to join cleanups close to you. You can combine this with a potluck picnic (but make sure its a zero waste picnic) to facilitate connections between people. Since we all know conscious consumerism alone isn’t going to save the world, these meet-ups can be an opportunity to strategize and brainstorm various ways to become politically engaged, developing an action plan to make environmental issues key election issues. Encourage people to support groups like Toronto Environmental Alliance who are actively pushing for policy changes that would help us all live more sustainably in Toronto (it’s thanks to them that we have green bins in this city).

When we live our lives like it’s #EarthDayEveryday we contribute to a cultural shift, laying the foundation for the political and economic changes needed on a structural level to design waste and excess out of our system.


I’m @itsahashtaglife, a social media manager, storyteller and blogger for non-profits and charities in Toronto. I take the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and apply them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet.


Share more, waste less

“The miracle is this, the more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy

Learn more about joining the Library of Things movement in Toronto.

The Sharing Depot Blog

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Spring Swap, Mend & Make: GIVEAWAY

Post the treasures you find at Spring Swap, Mend & Make on social media for a chance to win our zero waste prize pack!

We want you to act like you’re a big-shot YouTube blogger showing off your shopping haul – only better because you didn’t have to spend any money or destroy the planet in the process!

At our Spring Swap, Mend & Make event this Sunday, April 21 we’ll have a photo station set up for you to take photos with your new found treasures (and yes, that photo station will involve a shopping cart that you are welcome to sit in!). Post those photos on social media using the hashtag #SwapHaul and tag the Toronto Tool Library on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for your chance to win the following prize pack:

  • a $25 gift card for Common Sort
  • a mason jar filled with package-free laundry soap & dryer balls from bare market
  • laundry stain removal stick + clothes pegs in a cloth bag from Hera & Co.
  • a free rental from Freshrents
  • a rain jacket from Patagonia Toronto made with 100% recycled nylon face fabric worth $160

Winner will be contacted on their post a couple of days after the swap. The social media account you use to enter the giveaway must be public for us to see it.

Happy swapping and THANK YOU to all the businesses that have donated the items for the giveaway! 

Everything you need to know about the swap this weekend:

SWAP SOMETHING

MEND SOMETHING

MAKE SOMETHING

Swap into spring! Clear out your closets, book shelves and treasure chests and swap for new-to-you treasures! We’re partnering with Birth Mark and Centre for Social Innovation to bring you the swapping event of the season on April 21.

In addition to the swap, we will have making and mending stations. Creative Reuse Toronto will be facilitating a rug-making activity and we’ll have a station set up for textile repairs (sewing machines & hand-sewing).

Want to VOLUNTEER?

5 swap tickets and pizza lunch provided for volunteers. Contact Matt matt.j.d.watt@gmail.com

HOW IT WORKS:

Bring a maximum of 15 items in good condition (which includes a max of 2 stuffed animals). Exchange them for tickets and use your tickets to pick up items in the swap shop. Each item is worth one ticket.

You can drop your items off in advance at our 192 Spadina ave location during the week of April 15th during open hours.

Admission is $2 with advance drop off, $5 at the door OR pay-what-you-can. Children under 12 are free!

SWAP CATEGORIES:

– Baby Supplies: Clothes, shoes, blankets, bottles, dishes, toys, & accessories

– Children’s Clothing & Toys: casual wear, outerwear, shoes, accessories, clean & working toys

– Clothing & Accessories: casual wear, work wear, fancy dress, handbags, jewellery, shoes, suits, jackets, outerwear, athletic wear, jeans, t-shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, shorts, rompers, dress pants, jumpsuits, hoodies, scarves, hats, vintage items, silk tops, shoes, belts, athletic wear, etc.

– Housewares & Art: dishes, fine china, utensils, small appliances like blenders, juicers, bread makers, linens, quilts, lamps, framed art, ceramics, craft supplies, tools, small furniture like coffee tables or chairs

– Media/Entertainment: DVDs, Blurays, video games, books, CDs, cassettes, vinyl records, art supplies, & instruments

– Sports & Recreational Equipment: hockey gear, ski equipment, tennis rackets, soccer balls, skates, golf clubs, nets, free weights, yoga mats, jump ropes, rollerblades, boxing gloves, skateboards, & camping/hiking gear.

*PLEASE BYOB – BRING YOUR OWN BAG *

We will not be handing out plastic bags at this event. Please bring your own bags in which to carry your swap haul home in.

JELLYBEAN JAR GUESSING GAME

We will have a jar filled with bulk jelly beans from Bulk Barn at the door when you enter the swap. Guess the correct number of jelly beans in the jar and you will win a $50 gift card to Bulk Barn (and the jar of jelly beans, of course)!


Share more, waste less

“The miracle is this, the more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy

Learn more about joining the Library of Things movement in Toronto.

The Sharing Depot Blog

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Say Hello to Saponetti, Toronto’s First Package-Free Soap Delivery Service

The Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot partnered with Saponetti – Toronto’s package-free soap delivery service – a couple of years ago to bring you bulk soap stations, which you’ll find at both our 830 St Clair W and 192 Spadina Ave locations! These soap stations have been extremely popular with our community and we’ve had great feedback from you!

Saponetti Inc. (inspired by the Italian word for soap, sapone) is Toronto’s first and only soap delivery company.

They offer premium, Canadian-made, environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic soaps and detergents for home and personal care. You can order online and they’ll deliver to your home milkman style, or you can pick them up from one of their refill stations at our locations!

At our St Clair W and Spadina locations you will be able to refill:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • shower gel
  • dish soap
  • hand soap
  • all-purpose cleaner
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning vinegar

​Each time we buy a bottle of liquid soap, another plastic container becomes destined for the blue bin, where it enters a big, dirty waste stream. Only about 50% of Toronto’s waste plastic actually gets recycled. Almost all of it is made from petroleum oil, so there’s a sizeable percentage of geopolitics in every gram of the stuff. And all that recycling requires trucks and facilities that burn energy and generate waste and pollution.

Saponetti is committed is to providing sustainable choices toward a future that relies less and less on obsolete products like single use plastics. Saponetti does everything in its power to eliminate waste and prevent plastic from entering our landfills and waterways.

To celebrate the launch of their very own storefront location – The Saponetti Depot at 615c Brock Avenue – we sat down with co-founder Nikki to ask her to tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind what they do.

When / how did you first start striving to live an eco-friendly lifestyle?

My husband (and business partner), Christian, and I made radical shifts in our lifestyles about 16 years ago. I was struggling with chronic and debilitating migraines and was desperate to find a reason and some relief. This journey to wellness led to a whole process of change in pretty much everything we were doing, what we were eating and what products we were using on our bodies and in our home. 

Having grown up in Germany, Christian arrived in Canada already with a strong sense of environmental responsibility around water use, waste and recycling.

When / how did you decide to start a zero-waste store?

The lack of local package-free options was the ultimate inspiration to open our own business. Also, the realization that while we were making efforts to buy the most environmentally friendly products available, we were still poisoning our environment with plastic waste, which just didn’t make sense. We were convinced that we were not the only ones looking for alternatives and so we decided to open an online delivery service targeting our local community and surrounding neighbourhoods. Saponetti launched online in June 2016 with the depot following in April 2018 conveniently located at 615c Brock Avenue, just a few steps north of Bloor Street, between Dufferin and Lansdown Stations. 

Christian at The Saponetti Depot, 615c Brock Ave

Tell us about your store’s mission + what products / services you offer

Our mission is to provide a solution to the overwhelming problem with single-use plastics. We want to help redefine the way we shop by providing package-free options. The goal is to make it easy and convenient for consumers to zero-waste everyday consumables from laundry soap, dish soap and all-purpose cleaners to personal care products like shampoo, shower gel and deodorant. Everything is eco-friendly and cruelty-free. All our brands are Canadian and we try to source as local as possible so we can manage and minimize waste within our supply chain as well. It is important that our partners share our same values in terms of environmental protection as well healthy products for healthy homes and businesses.

Customers shop online and we deliver refills in returnable mason jars, which we collect on the next delivery, via electric vehicles and bicycles with our partner The Drop Distribution. Now that we have opened the refill depot, customers can also drop by with their own containers to refill or borrow from our stock of mason jars. 

What do you love about about the work you do?

Good feelings pour in on a daily basis. Every time someone walks into the depot and exclaims how excited they are that we exist we feel confirmed in our choice and that we are on the right track. We meet likeminded people and hear so many going-green journeys! We are very happy to know that we are helping people decrease their reliance on plastic and make sustainable choices for their families. 

Follow Saponetti on Facebook & Instagram

Saponetti reusable soap station at the Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot

Price List for Saponetti Soap Stations inside the Toronto Tool Library & Sharing Depot:

THE UNSCENTED COMPANY:

  • Liquid Dish Soap: $0.55/100ml
  • Hand Soap: $0.95/100ml
  • Laundry Detergent 2x concentrated $0.74/100ml
  • All Purpose Cleaner (spray): $0.48/100ml
  • Cleaning Vinegar (spray): $0.36/100ml

ONEKA

  • Shampoo: $2.20/100ml
  • Conditioner: $2.20/100ml
  • Shower Gel: $2.20/100ml
Posted on / by Emily / in Blog / 1

8 Tips for a Zero Waste Valentine’s Day

Like any consumer-driven Holiday, Valentine’s Day has become an excessive and wasteful celebration. While trying to express our love for friends, family and partners, we litter the planet with non-recyclable candy wrappers, take away containers carrying the dinner we couldn’t finish and stock the shelves of our landfills by purchasing unnecessary cheap trinkets that will inevitably fall apart.

This Valentine’s Day, let’s show our love for the planet by making an effort to waste less. Here are some tips for a waste-free Valentine’s Day:

1) Look for package-free sweets

Partaking in the sweeter side of the Valentine’s Day tradition? Grab some jars, containers or bulk bags and head to a bulk store to stock up. Many candy wrappers are made from mixed materials and are therefore not recyclable. Most candies and chocolates that you’ll find in stores also come in unnecessary plastic bags, which you definitely want to avoid if you’re trying to be nice to the planet.

You can use Bea Johnson’s handy Bulk Locator to find a bulk store close to you.

Add a personal touch with these cute punny messages from Going Zero Waste:

  • Reese’s Pieces: 100 “Resse”sons I love you!
  • Reese’s Pieces: I love you to pieces!
  • Gummy Bears: Life without you would be un-BEAR-able.
  • Raisins: You’re always raisin my spirits

2) Don’t purchase a new outfit

The celebrity mindset that makes us feel we need a new outfit for every special occasion and a new wardrobe for every season is slowly (not so slowly) killing the planet. We purchase 400 times more clothing now than we did in 1980 with the number of new garments created every year now exceeding 100 billion. The average North American creates 70lbs of textile waste per year, with much of that ending up in landfills. And the narrative around the ‘good’ we do when we donate our used clothes is coming undone at the seams (some countries are trying to ban the import of used clothing and shoes from the west as the massive influx of our hand-me-downs is devastating their local artisan markets).

So, if you were considering getting something shiny and new for a date or a night out with friends this Valentine’s Day, don’t. Instead, consider getting something ‘new-to-you’ from the second hand market:

  • trade for an outfit on Bunz Trading Zone
  • borrow an outfit from Toronto’s Fresh Fashion Library
  • purchase second hand. If you don’t feel like digging through the racks of a thrift store, check out the carefully curated consignment inventory at the Common Sort.
  • you can also borrow clothing from other Torontonians via Boro or rent a fancy outfit from Rent Frock Repeat.

3) If you dine out, bring a zero waste kit

Haven’t you heard? A zero waste kit is 2019’s hottest accessory to pair with your sustainable second hand outfit! Whether you skip out to a local cafe to grab a drink on the way to a romantic skate at your local rink or sit down to enjoy dinner out with friends and family, a zero waste kit will help you avoid using single-use disposable items like coffee cups and take out containers.

It’s important to remember that even if the disposable item you’re using is recyclable, recycling is not the solution to the waste crisis:

By the time waste gets recycled, 95% of the environmental damage has already occurred – in manufacturing, in oil extraction, in the poisoning of our rivers and air. People have to buy less…our economy is based on endless growth, endless production of what our landfills tell us is basically junk. The cycle just keeps going: manufacture, consume, discard.

Here’s how to assemble your own Zero Waste Kit!


4) Make a card using upcycled materials

Elevate your Valentine’s Day above the basic Hallmark Holiday and skip the purchasing of store-bought cards (which are often wrapped in plastic, which – as we’ve covered many times – is bad for the planet).

Make your own card instead using upcycled and scrap materials. I have a box in my home where I keep packaging, used wrapping paper and other odds and ends that can be used to wrap gifts or make creative cards. I will often include a little pouch on the cards where a note can be tucked inside so I don’t need to write on the card itself. This way, the person you give it to can reuse the card by removing the note and writing their own!

5) Make something together

Why buy cheap gifts that are made overseas when you could celebrate your love by making something special together?

The Toronto Tool Library’s Makerspace is hosting a special Valentine’s Day Wind-Up Music Box Build at 192 Spadina on February 14. There are two time slots to choose from:

6) Give an experiential gift

Let’s face it – we’ve been doing the cheap stuffed teddy bears, boxes of chocolates and diamonds thing for long enough. It’s getting old. Plus, household consumption is responsible for up to 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80% of total land, material, and water use.

We don’t need to purchase stuff to express our undying love for a significant other or our gratitude to friends and family. Research has shown that accumulating more and more stuff does not equate to increases in happiness. Quite the opposite.

Experiences are where it’s at, so rather than give the ones you love unnecessary things, give them an experiential gift instead:

  • a membership to a Library of Things like the Toronto Tool Library or The Sharing Depot, where the borrowing of items will give them access to infinite experiences (for example, they could borrow board games to host a games night, a record player, disco ball and chocolate fountain to throw a wicked party or a projector, screen and popcorn maker to host the ultimate movie night).
  • take them out to a movie or a theatrical play
  • go rock climbing together at a rock climbing gym
  • take a trip to a museum or art gallery
  • get them an online subscription to a music or movie streaming service
  • hire a tool ninja at the Toronto Tool Library and make something special together
  • head out to a skating rink and pack a zero waste picnic (obviously if you’re in Toronto, you will find somewhere to take shelter from the cold to eat it).
  • the possibilities are endless!

7) Skip the flowers

What better way to say I love you than cut flowers that are grown far away, shipped around the world, sprayed with pesticides and inevitably DIE? No thanks, hard pass.

Take a trip to your local seed library and pick up some some free seeds they can plant when spring rolls around. These are often seeds that are saved from gardeners in the community and donated back to the seed library for others to take.

8) Make dinner at home with what you already have

A staggering 1/3 of all food produced globally is wasted annually and in Canada, we’re collectively chucking out approximately $31 billion worth of food a year. This is not only insulting in terms of the fact that we’re throwing away perfectly good food when there are many on the planet without enough to eat, but food waste has 25 times the climate change potential of carbon dioxide.

All this to say, you can make a really fun night out of taking note of what’s already in your fridge and making a nice meal with a significant other or friends. You can enter those random things you find at the back of fridge drawers into the Foodful.ly app which will then give you recipe suggestions based on what you have. You could also use the Flashfood app to locate food that is about to be tossed out by grocery stores and pick it up for a fraction of the price.

BONUS: you might be wondering about the waste associated with birth control. While there is no fully wasteless way around protection, Trash Is For Tossers does have a blog you can peruse on the more sustainable options.


This is a guest blog from @itsahashtaglife – blogger, social media manager and content creator for non-profits and charities in Toronto. She takes the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and applies them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet. #LetsGetWasteless

The Sharing Depot Blog


Imagine if Libraries of Things became as readily accessible as book libraries, where every week you visit to select toys, camping gear, board games, sports equipment or party supplies and return what you took out the week before? Imagine the shelf space, imagine the savings, imagine the community connections, imagine a greener planet.

This is about experience, without the price tag or the clutter. Support us by becoming a member or making a donation. If you are interested in learning how to set up your own Library of Things, get in touch with us for a free Skype consultation where we’ll tell you all about how we did it!

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Save Money, Reduce Waste: the Sustainable Back-to-School Guide

It’s that time of year again, the time of year when parents excitedly begin prepping their children for the transition back to publicly funded daycare (otherwise known as school 😜). Part of this preparation involves equipping kids with the tools and items they need for a successful year – new clothes, notebooks, pencils, lunch kits, backpacks, etc.

While there are a certain number of items kids really do need, our culture has elevated the relatively mundane process of sending children to school into a shopping frenzy on par with other consumer holidays. In fact, recent polls suggest that some parents spend more on back-to-school shopping than they do on holiday gift shopping in December.

This means that not only are we maxing out our credit cards on plastic binders and fresh fall looks, we’re contributing to the wastefulness associated with mass individual consumption of goods. Couple this with food packaged in non-recyclable materials and the excessive plastic packaging that school supplies are stuck in, and the education of our young people suddenly becomes a pretty wasteful process.

Since the 1950s, some 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide, and to date, only 9% of that has been recycled. – Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff

What’s an environmentally-minded parent to do?! Here are a few practical tips to make the back-to-school process a little lighter on the planet (and your wallet).

 

1) Assess What You Need, Use What You Have

Chances are, you’ve still got a good number of items floating around from the previous school year in good working order. Take inventory of what you already have around the house and make a list of the things you still need – and then stick to that list. Make it part of your end-of-school-year routine to keep all school supplies in one place to reduce the amount of time spent looking for rogue markers or tricky calculators.

This seems like pretty basic advice but if you skip this step, the chance of acquiring repeat items is higher.

 

2) Organize a Community Swap

Chances are, there are parents in your neighbourhood who have a lot of gently used clothing, backpacks, shoes and school supplies their kids have outgrown or grown tired of. Rather than going to a busy mall and purchasing all these things new, why not host a community swap to recirculate the stuff that already exists in your community? The more people who attend the swap, the better the selection will be and the easier it becomes for people to find what they need. Imagine if back-to-school swaps became as much of a cultural phenomenon as back-to-school shopping?!

Consumers must recognize that the most sustainable item is the one that already exists. – 2018 State of Reuse Report

It is best to partner with a local community organization or hub that can provide space and help spread the word about the swap. For example, we ran a successful Kids Stuff Swap at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market this past weekend. Imagine if every school got involved in the swapping movement and began hosting a large back-to-school swap in the gym each August for parents to attend?  The more we participate and push for events like these, the more likely back-to-school swapping will become an engrained cultural behaviour.

We hold several community swaps a year. To get notified about upcoming swaps, sign up for our monthly community newsletter.

 

3) Shop at Thrift Stores & Use Trading Apps

Thrift shopping ain’t what it used to be – it’s BETTER. Because consumer culture has exploded over the last 20 or so years, we are drowning in stuff and our thrift stores are the physical evidence of that. In Toronto we have some exceptional second-hand children’s stores that reveal another excellent way to get what you need for back-to-school without shopping new. Find children’s clothing, shoes, accessories and backpacks at:

Maybe you found all the clothing and shoes you needed by shopping thrift, but weren’t able to find an appropriate backpack, for example. For more specific searches, try out apps like Freecycle and Bunz Trading Zone where you can input search terms and find items in your community that people have available for free or for trade.

 

4) Learn the ABCs of Packing a Plastic-Free Lunch

Ditching packaging in your kid’s lunch requires a little bit of thought, finding the right tools to do the job and knowing where to shop to avoid over-packaged products. Let’s take a little lesson in the zero waste lifestyle before sending your little ones to school:

A) Swap out Plastic Wrap & Ziplock Bags for Beeswax Wrap

Who actually likes dealing with plastic wrap?! No one, and definitely not the planet. If you haven’t already made the switch, beeswax wraps are your new best friends. They can be used for wrapping just about anything – sandwiches, veggie sticks, fruits. They are easy to use and actually pretty easy to make at home yourself (check out two different DIY instructions here and here. You can use upcycled fabrics and leftover beeswax drippings from beeswax candles). Not up to the DIY challenge? Toronto’s Bare Market has them available at their pop-up markets around the city.

B) Invest in a Zero Waste Lunch Kit 

Making a package-free lunch starts with the right tools – good quality stainless steel containers, a mini container for dips, a cutlery set, reusable water bottle, etc. Putting together a zero waste lunch kit for kids is very similar to the process of putting one together for adults.

If you’ve already got these items, just use what you have! But if you’re in the market for anything, Bare Market has everything you need – including the stainless steel containers, cutlery sets and beeswax wraps. Bare Market will be Toronto’s first one-stop, package-free shop and has been running pop-up shops around the city this summer. They will be at the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot’s 830 St Clair West location on Thursday, August 30 for one of these pop-up shops. Stop by, say hi and get wasteless!

C) Locate bulk stores that have reusable container programs

Here comes the trickier part – if you want to avoid the packaging that typically comes on pre-bought food, it means lunches have to be made from scratch using package-free ingredients.

Don’t know where to find bulk stores that allow you to bring your own containers? There’s an app for that! Use the Bulk Locator App to find the package-free shops nearest you and shop for ingredients using your own containers and bags. Karma Coop Toronto,  Anarres Natural HealthNuthouseSweet Potato Toronto and Strictly Bulk are all good options. Bulk Barn has also recently launched a reusable container program.

If you’re looking for bread for sandwiches, check out local bakeries and bring along a bread bag (the bread loaf can then be stored in a large beeswax wrap or bread box to avoid it going stale). If you use cold cut meats, you can bring your own container to the deli counter in grocery stores or to specialty meat shops to skip the plastic wrap/plastic bags they put put those in.

For some easy-to-prep zero waste lunch recipe ideas, check out Everyday Eco Living and Zero Waste Chef.

 

5) Get Broken Items Repaired

Backpack with a broken zipper? Ripped jeans? Binder with a broken spine? Rather than tossing these items and buying new, take them to a Repair Cafe or to Clothing Repairathon Toronto.

Repair Café Toronto holds pop-up repair events all around the city. We also host them at our 830 St Clair West location every Sunday from 12-4pm. Bring your broken items – everything from small appliances, jewelry, textiles, books, bicycles, etc – and the amazing volunteers will help you fix them.

Clothing Repairathon is similar to the Repair Café, but focuses just on textiles. They will be at Withrow Park Farmers’ Market on September 15 from 9am-1pm. Check their website or Facebook group for other upcoming events.

 

6) Find Sustainable Alternatives

Bic has sold over 100 billion disposable pens since 1950. If all those pens were lined up end to end, they could circle the Earth 350 times. – JetPens

While finding and using what already exists in circulation is the most sustainable option, sometimes you can’t avoid buying new. When purchasing an item new, try to locate eco-friendly or sustainable alternatives.

  • Pencils and Pencil Crayons: Bare Market carries a brand of pencils and coloured pencils made from recycled paper and non-toxic graphite. They will be at theToronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot’s 830 St Clair West location on Thursday, August 30.
  • Highlighters: the Pilot Wytebord highlighter is made using 56% recycled plastic and is refillable using bottled ink. The Zebra Optex 1 EZ Highlighters are made of 98% recycled plastic, but use a cartridge system for refills. Or check out these highlighter pencils from Stubby Pencil Studio.
  • Pens: look for pens that are made from biodegradable materials, such as the DBA 98 Penwhich is 98% biodegradable. There are also many pens out there made from recycled plastic (look for the pens that are refillable on that list, such as the Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen or the Pilot Hi-Tecpoint).
  • Look for products that don’t include plastic – such as opting for a stainless steel ruler rather than a plastic one.
  • Notebooks: the Decompossion Notebooks are made in the USA using 100% recycled paper, soy ink and bio-gas and can be recycled when you’re finished with them.
  • Backpacks and Lunch Bags: if you’re in the market for a new backpack or lunch bag, look for makers who are making them using upcycled fabric. A quick search on Etsy led me to SANDbags, who make backpacks out of repurposed clothing, curtains, linens and rescued fabrics (super into this rock star backpack made from a curtain and this aztec print backpack made from rescued fabric). They also make reusable snack bags out of upcycled materials. Similarly, SecondBirthday makes backpacks using upcycled denim. FatDragonfly makes lunch bags out of recycled organic cotton.

These are just some examples, the point being that with a little bit of research (even into your own local maker community) it’s very likely you can find a more sustainable version of the mass produced, highly unsustainable item you almost bought at a commercial retailer. Looking for reusable products that use upcycled materials is the priority.

JustEco pencils and coloured pencils will be available at Bare Market’s pop-up shop with us this Thursday, August 30.

 

7) Consider Investing in a Zero Waste Box Program

TerraCycle is an eco-friendly recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically non-recyclable waste. – Terracycle.ca

Recycling might not be the solution to our culture’s waste woes, but it is one way to reuse materials that are already in circulation. And it isn’t so much that most materials can’t be recycled – it’s that most materials can’t be recycled by our local recycling facilities.

Get your community involved in recycling materials you would normally be chucking in the garbage by going in on a Terracycle Zero Waste Box together. For instance, a group of parents could get their children’s classroom a Zero Waste Box for snack wrappers (and for the month of August, this box is 20% off with the code AUGUSTBOX20) or try an Office Supplies Box for the whole school. You can also check in with them to see if your school qualifies for one of their Free Recycling Programs, sponsored by brands, retailers and manufacturers around the world. You can reach out to them about this here.

This is a great way to not only recycle materials that would otherwise end up in landfill, but also to get more people thinking about waste and our relationship to the Earth’s resources a little more carefully.

 

8) Donate or Properly Recycle Used Items

If you aren’t distributing your child’s used school items at a community swap, ensure you recycle or donate your items responsibly, to the best of your ability.

  • Staples has partnered with Terracycle Canada to implement a writing instruments recycling program available across 300 locations. Bring your used up pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, etc to a location near you to be recycled.
  • Get your school involved in ColorCycle, Crayola’s North America wide marker recycling program. This program is easy to participate in: put all of the dried up markers in a box and Crayola will pay for the shipping. They then separate the markers, melt them down and use the recycled product to make new markers.
  • ‘The Pen Guy’ accepts pens, markers, crayons, highlighters, etc and uses them for upcycled art projects.
  • There are charities who distribute back-to-school items to children in need, such as the Caring and Sharing Exchange in Ottawa.
  • Bring items that are gently used to the Really, Really Free Market which takes place on the first Saturday of every month.
  • List items on the Freecycle app for others in your community who need them.
  • Get your neighbourhood involved in Toronto’s Second Hand Sunday event, which is a city-wide event where people leave their gently used items on the curb for others to take (takes place on Sunday, September 30). Contact them to learn how to bring it to your community!

 

Nothing is going to be perfect and don’t stress if you don’t have the time or resources to invest in all of these tips. The zero waste lifestyle is one that can be adopted over time and doing any of these things helps to make the world a more sustainable place.

Do you have any wasteless back-to-school tips? Let us know on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

 


 

I’m @itsahashtaglife, a social media manager, storyteller and blogger for non-profits and charities in Toronto. I take the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and apply them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet.

 

 

 

The Sharing Depot Blog

 

 

 

 

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog / 2

The New Economy Library: Books for Building a Better World

Happy #BookLoversDay! For those of you who love books and innovative ideas about how we can shift into a more equal, less wasteful, more sustainable economy – here’s a list of books for you <3

This list includes books featuring very practical ways we can begin building the new economy right now, as well as more philosophical approaches to how we can connect with our current situation in a meaningful, inspiring way to begin writing a new story for humans and the planet.

Human beings are the most social creature on this planet. When we get the story right, we move quickly. – Jeremy Rifkin

This list is merely intended as a beginning – are there books you think should be included? Please let us know on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and we’ll add them! Let’s grow our knowledge base and build a better world together #CommunityStrong. Eventually, we would like to have ‘new economy libraries’ at each of our locations so you can borrow books about the new economy alongside your camping gear, tools, board games, children’s toys, event supplies and sports equipment. That way, you can participate in the new economy and read about it, too 😉

 

 

The New Human Rights Movement, by Peter Joseph

When this higher view is taken – one that positions the individual in a network of factors, bypassing the illusion of singular will and autonomy – a more holistic and effective sense of the problem solving emerges. As such, social activism must become a social science in and of itself. The synergetic, biopsychosocial nature of the human condition needs to be not only understood but also used as a strategy for instigating needed social change.

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Curing Affluenza, by Richard Denniss

People who have been brought up in a culture that encourages wasteful consumption cannot be blamed for their eagerness to replace last year’s coolest gadget with this year’s. Those who want to stop the spread of affluenza need to focus on creating smarter, more attractive patterns of behaviour, rather than chiding people for their current conduct and consumption patterns. – Richard Denniss

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Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing, by Thomas Widlok

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Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

We see a world of abundance, not limits. In the midst of a great deal of talk about reducing the human ecological footprint, we offer a different vision. What if humans designed products and systems that celebrate an abundance of human creativity, culture, and productivity? That are so intelligent and safe, our species leaves an ecological footprint to delight in, not lament? – Michael Braungart

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The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing For Abundance

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Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, by Kate Raworth

For over 70 years economics has been fixated on GDP, or national output, as its primary measure of progress. That fixation has been used to justify extreme inequalities of income and wealth coupled with unprecedented destruction of the living world. For the twenty-first century a far bigger goal is needed: meeting the human rights of every person within the means of our life-giving planet. – Kate Raworth

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Change Everything, by Christian Felber

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The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions, by Jason Hickel

“Only reuse and recycle have gained any kind of traction, and specifically recycling because it allows a continuation of your consumer patterns without any threats to the status quo. To reduce consumption is not something that’s compatible with capitalism, it’s not compatible with the imperative for growth. So that’s where the real challenge lies.” – Jason Hickel

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Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work and Remake the World, by Annie Lowry

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Basic Income: And How We Can Make it Happen, by Guy Standing

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Transition to Common Work: Building Community at the Working Centre, by Now and Stephanie Moncini

 

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The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene, by Simon L. Lewis and Mark A. Mason

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Project Drawdown: the Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, by Paul Hawken

We are stealing from the future, selling it to the present and calling it GDP. – Paul Hawken

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The Caribou Taste Different Now: Inuit Elders Observe Climate Change

The Pan-Canadian/cross-community collaborative effort in this important publication, which brings together the Elders and knowledge holders as they share their observations, is absolutely invaluable.” -Sheila Watt Cloutier

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This Changes Everything: Capitalism VS the Climate, by Naomi Klein

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The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard

We depend on this planet to eat, drink, breathe, and live. Figuring out how to keep our life support system running needs to be our number-one priority. Nothing is more important than finding a way to live together – justly, respectfully, sustainably, joyfully – on the only planet we can call home.

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Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

Recycling is better–I won’t write “good”–for the environment. But without economics–without supply and demand of raw materials–recycling is nothing more than a meaningless exercise in glorifying garbage. No doubt it’s better than throwing something into an incinerator, and worse than fixing something that can be refurbished. It’s what you do if you can’t bear to see something landfilled. Placing a box or a can or a bottle in a recycling bin doesn’t mean you’ve recycled anything, and it doesn’t make you a better, greener person: it just means you’ve outsourced your problem. Sometimes that outsourcing is near home; and sometimes it’s overseas. But wherever it goes, the global market and demand for raw materials is the ultimate arbiter.

Fortunately, if that realization leaves you feeling bad, there’s always the alternative: stop buying so much crap in the first place. – Adam Minter

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Geographies of Trash, by Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy

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How to Give Up Plastic: A Guide to Changing the World, One Plastic Bottle at a Time, by Will McCallum

Plastic is not going away without a fight. We need a movement made up of billions of individual acts, bringing people together from all backgrounds and all cultures, the ripples of which will be felt from the smallest village to the tallest skyscrapers. – Will McCallum

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The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a Time, by Paul Connett

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Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too

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Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste, by Bea Johnson

Refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest. – Bea Johnson


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Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

We only have a finite amount of time on this earth. It can be spent accumulating monetary wealth, or it can be spent in a meaningful way—the latter of which doesn’t necessarily preclude someone from the former, but the relentless pursuit of riches doesn’t lead to a meaningful life. – Joshua Fields Millburn

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Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism, by Rachel Aust

When you’re trying to live life as a minimalist, you should not subscribe to the concept of shopping as a hobby or entertainment. You shop strictly because you need something, not to kill time. – Rachel Aust

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Zero Marginal Cost Society, by Jeremy Rifkin

Your generation is moving from ownership to access, from markets to networks, from consumerism to sustainability, from market capital to social capital. Does this all sound familiar? It’s a revolution. – Jeremy Rifkin

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Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, by Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl

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Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy, by Robin Hahnel and Erik Olin

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Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World, by Don and Alex Tapscott

We believe that the economy works best when it works for everyone, and this new platform is an engine of inclusion.

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I’m @itsahashtaglife, a social media manager, storyteller and blogger for non-profits and charities in Toronto. I take the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and apply them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet.

 

 

The Sharing Depot Blog

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Earth Overshoot Day Should Be A Wake-Up Call for Environmentalists

Environmentalists involved in the zero waste community are just emerging from #PlasticFreeJuly – a month long opportunity to refuse single-use plastics and raise awareness about the devastating effects life in plastic is having on our planet. While instructing the masses on how to bring a reusable travel mug to the coffee shop, how to carry a reusable bag to avoid plastic ones and pushing local governments to impose strict regulations on single-use waste are important, there is a large piece of the puzzle missing from this conversation.

It is fitting, then, that we should round the corner from this activist outcry of choose to reuse! and refuse single-use! to run right smack into the cold, hard reality of #EarthOvershootDay – which falls on August 1st this year.

 

What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Basically the Global Footprint Network tracks how much of Earth’s natural resources humans are gobbling up – everything from water to rare earth minerals to clean air – runs a bunch of complicated calculations and comes up with the day each year when our species overshoots the planet’s ability to regenerate itself. In other words, today on August 1st we have used a year’s worth of the Earth’s resources in 7 months. This means we are currently using nature 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can renew. Put in yet another way, this year we’re using the equivalent of 1.7 earths to support human civilization.

Unsurprisingly given that our economic system is founded on infinite growth of goods and services and our population is rising, Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier and earlier every year. If current trends keep pace with this, by 2030 we’ll be using two earths.

 

 

When viewed through the lens of Earth Overshoot Day, the waste problem we’re currently confronting suddenly becomes much bigger (ugh). It’s more than reusables and plastic bag bans and biodegradables and the environmentally friendly version of this or that product. What it really boils down to is this: we live in an infinite growth economy, where mass individual consumption of goods and services drives up GDP, on a planet of finite resources. The system we use to organize human relationships and determine the flow of our stuff is out of synch with the way the Earth functions.

We’re stealing from the future, selling it to the present and calling it GDP. – Paul Hawken

The Big Picture

Before we go any further, let’s weave in a few more astounding facts that may seem unrelated at first but most certainly are related to this conundrum:

➡ Canada’s richest 87 families have as much wealth as everyone living in Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island combined.

➡ None of the world’s top industries would be profitable (none of them) if they actually paid for the natural capital they use and pollute (the Earth’s resources). In this way, businesses publicize costs and privatize profits.

➡ Recent research has exposed a behaviour-impact gap in the environmental world: impacts on the planet have little to do with education or awareness of environmental issues and little to do with one’s intention to act on that awareness. Instead, researchers found that one’s ecological footprint increased in tandem with income. While low income families were more likely to be ‘brown’ consumers (not thinking about the environment), they still had smaller ecological footprints than high income ‘green’ families.

The more educated a person is, the higher their income is likely to be, the more energy they use and thus, the higher their carbon footprint.

It raises the question: how much of a reduction in carbon footprints can be achieved by merely increasing the environmental awareness of society without actually affecting the socio-economic system…Consumers offset the impact of their environmental behaviour by consuming more. – The ecological footprint of green and brown consumers: introducing the behaviour-impact-gap ( BIG ) problem

 

The Revolution Will Not Be Bought

If we want to #MoveTheDate as the Global Footprint Network is challenging us to do, if we want to build a sustainable, viable system on this planet, we have to address the root cause of where the waste is coming from. And that root cause is unsustainable infinite growth on a finite planet where a select few people steal our collective natural resources only to sell them back to us as products we don’t even really need (that then break down after only a few uses) so that those same select few can hoard wealth at the top. While the rest at the bottom suffer the negative consequences of poverty and environmental degradation. This is a systemic issue and the solution to it can only be systemic.

First of all, we need to deal with inequality. We don’t think of inequality as being an environmental issue, but research shows that it is: places that experience high levels of inequality also experience more consumption of cheaply made products that inevitably end up in landfills. Greater inequality is the key to increasing the cultural pressure to consume. The church of infinite economic growth disseminates its sermons through an endless stream of advertising designed to manipulate the most fundamental aspect of our nature: we are social creatures.

“In more unequal societies, there is a proliferation of products that are designed not to last, so as to allow greater profits to be made. Producing endless must-have new versions exploits the higher levels of emotional insecurity that living with great inequality generates.” – The Guardian

We pray at the alter of consumption not because we necessarily need or even want more stuff, but because in “economically unequal countries the pressure to buy items to keep up with your peers, with ‘people who count’, is enormous” (The Guardian). This is especially the case with status symbols: clothing, technology, cars. It comes as no surprise then that more unequal societies spend a higher proportion of their Gross Domestic Product on advertising (The Spirit Level, p. 228). Keep up with the Kardashians or risk social obsolescence.

The second thing we need to do is make the leap from a take-make-dispose linear economic model into a Circular Economy. Waste is embedded in the very fabric of our current system and is therefore inevitable (for instance, consider the exponential rise in built-in and planned obsolescence whereby companies design products to fail in order to encourage people to consume yet more stuff). A Circular Economy, on the other hand aims to ‘design out’ waste. Waste does not exist – products are designed and optimized for a cycle of disassembly and reuse. This sets it apart from disposal and even recycling where large amounts of embedded energy and labour are lost.

 

The Revolution will be Reused, Repaired, Upcycled and Shared

Imagine a world where you have low-cost access to common, infrequently used products needed for business or pleasure — tools, toys, musical instruments, camping gear…the list is infinite. Imagine an economy that prioritizes sharing high-quality durable goods, wasting less, and encouraging cooperation. Imagine a close-knit community co-creating a sustainable future. – Shareable

While the collaborative consumption we advocate through the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot is by no means the only solution, it does present one model for addressing the two factors mentioned above:

1) Our library of things provides access to the same items to everybody, regardless of income. No one has more or less of any of the things in our libraries than anyone else. This presents an opportunity to reimagine our relationships with each other outside of and away from the intense social anxiety generated by the broader consumer society.

2) Our project has been featured in two articles from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation detailing the ways collaborative consumption fuels this much-needed shift into a more sustainable economy for people and the planet (you can read them here and here). Borrowing things you only need occasionally and then putting them back for the next person to use is already one aspect of the Circular Economy. Our spaces allow people to access camping gear, tools, board games, children’s toys, sports equipment and event supplies without individually buying them to own. All those resources involved in the creation and shipping of products are saved by people recirculating the same items over and over again within a community.

3) We also partner with organizations who advocate for repair and reuse. Repair Cafe Toronto runs repairathons every Sunday at our 830 St Clair West location to help people repair all kinds of broken items to save them from going to landfill. Boomerang Bags Toronto runs free workshops out of our 1803 Danforth ave space to turn unwanted and dead-stock fabric into reusable bags (there’s a workshop coming up this month!).

“The miracle is this, the more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy

It turns out that Nimoy’s statement is just as meaningful when applied to Earth’s resources as it is applied to human relationships. On #EarthOvershootDay, let’s consider sharing more to #MoveTheDate.

Learn more about joining the Library of Things movement in Toronto.


 

I’m @itsahashtaglife, a social media manager, storyteller and blogger for non-profits and charities in Toronto. I take the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and apply them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet.

 

 

 

 

Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Top Summer Borrow Picks

We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite items from The Sharing Depot‘s inventory to borrow over the summer! Spice up your backyard barbecues, pump up your patio parties, enhance your camping excursions, blow your friends away with how awesome you are – all without spending money or cluttering your home. Borrow it, use it, return it, repeat!

You can explore our full inventory of over 10,000 items available for borrow online here.

 

Froggy Folding Chairs + Folding Table with Drink Holders

Heading to a cottage or out camping with kids? Take along this cute set of folding froggy chairs complete with table and cup holders. Folds up into a conveniently small and easy to stow size.

 

The Coolest Cooler

Make your summer gathering or camping trip extra 😎 ~cool~ 😎 with the all-in-one-everything cooler: The Coolest Cooler. It’s got a built in blender, bottle opener, usb charger, splash-proof blue tooth speakers, set of plates & MORE!

 

BioLight Camp Stoves

One of our favourite things in inventory are our BioLight Camp Stoves. This stove does magic tricks: while you burn wood to cook your food, the BioLight Camp Stove generates useable electricity that can be used to charge LED lights, mobile phones and other personal devices. The best part? No gas is necessary. It creates a smokeless fire that cooks food and boils water in minutes. Comes with a USB bendy light.

 

Party Parachute

Heading out to the park and need some entertainment for the kids? Borrow one of our party parachutes (12 person parachute or the 20ft parachute that comes with plastic balls, which can be found at both our Danforth and St Clair West locations)

 

Disco Ball

Make your outdoor patio party sparkle or take it inside to dazzle up your living room. Your guests never looked so sparkly, borrow the Disco Ball!

 

Portable Projector

Screen a movie for family and friends from wherever you are with the Magnasonic Portable Projector! You can project movies directly from your smart phone, tablet or computer. Hang a white sheet, use a wall or your camper van!

 

Chocolate Fountain


What could possibly be better than fresh fruit, you ask? FRESH FRUIT BATHED IN CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS, that’s what! The Chocolate Fountain is ideal for just about any occasion – baby shower, birthday party, backyard barbecue. We also have a Fondue Set.

 

Popcorn Maker


Planning a movie night or a Netflix binge? Make delicious popcorn for your guests using this vintage-inspired Popcorn Maker!

 

Camping Chairs

Having a few extra chairs for your summer adventure – whether your hanging in a back yard, camping in a park or sitting around the campfire at the cottage – can never be a bad thing. Find camping chairs at the Danforth and St Clair West.

 

Portable Record Player

We’ve got several of these super convenient Crosley Keepsake USB Turntables with speakers available, along with a selection of records to borrow! Get your guests into the vinyl revival without having to commit to it yourself. The benefits of borrowing!

Fun fact: this record player also has the ability to transfer music from records onto computers.

 

 Bubble Machine

Did you know we have a Bubble Machine? We do. And it’s awesome. This is excellent for children’s parties in the park, street parties or just outside in the backyard with the a bunch of kids who are young at heart 🙂

 

Fairy Lights

Make those bubbles shine in the dark with the addition of string of lights for your backyard. Congrats – you just took your outdoor patio party to the. next. level.

 

Folding Chairs

For those of you hosting a wedding or other large gathering, we have got the chairs for you! 50 of them to be exact. Borrow as many of our Folding Chairs as you would like.

 

Pop-Up Tent

Maybe you’re heading to the beach or a music festival for the day and you need a little shelter but don’t want to go through the hair-pulling ordeal that is setting up a full-on tent (no, just me?). This Pop-up Tent will do the trick! It’s super easy to pop-up and pack flat again, no poles, no strings attached.

 

Tug of War Rope

We have a big ol’ traditional Tug of War Rope in our inventory! This is a great activity for the cottage or while out camping.

 

Games!

We’ve got many, many games in our inventory to entertain family and friends. Check out some highlights here or drop by to peruse our wall of games!

 

Portable Mixed-Drinks Kit

If you are drinking responsibly at your gathering, you might want to try The Portable Mized-Drinks Kit – which comes with tongs, bottle opener, two picnic-sized tumblers and “The Standard Bartenders Guide” by Patrick Gavin Duffy. Cute bartending dog not included. Sadly.

 


Infinite experiences – without the price tag or the clutter. We’re Canada’s first Library of Things network, where you can come to borrow camping gear, tools, board games, children’s toy, sports equipment and event supplies. Support us by becoming a member, making a donation or volunteering at one of our locations. If you are interested in learning how to set up your own Library of Things, get in touch with us for a free Skype consultation!

The Sharing Depot Blog

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Posted on / by Emily / in Blog

Top Borrow Picks for the Canada Day Long Weekend

The Canada Day Long Weekend is just around the corner and you’ve got places to go and people to see, cottages to chill at and parks to camp in. Enhance your Canada Day celebrations with some items from our party and events supplies section! (FYI: The Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot will be CLOSED at all locations for Canada Day Sunday, to give our team and volunteers a chance to take a break).

We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite items from The Sharing Depot to borrow to spice up your get together without spending money or cluttering your home! Borrow it, use it, return it – repeat! For the full Party Supplies inventory, please explore our inventory online at The Danforth location and St Clair West location.

 

Disco Ball

Make your living room sparkle or string it up with lights in the backyard for the ultimate outdoor dazzle effect! Borrow the Disco Ball!

 

Portable Projector

Screen a movie for family and friends from wherever you are with the Magnasonic Portable Projector! You can project movies directly from your smart phone, tablet or computer. Hang a white sheet, use a wall or your camper van!

 

Chocolate Fountain


What could possibly be better than fresh fruit, you ask? FRESH FRUIT BATHED IN CHOCOLATEY GOODNESS, that’s what! The Chocolate Fountain is ideal for just about any occasion – baby shower, birthday party, backyard barbecue. This is a crowd pleaser! We also have a Fondue Set.

 

Popcorn Maker


Planning a movie night or a Game Of Thrones binge? Make delicious popcorn for your guests using this vintage-inspired Popcorn Maker!

 

Camping Chairs

Ok these are technically part of our Camping Section, but having a few extra chairs for your long weekend adventure – whether your hanging in a back yard, camping in a park or sitting around the campfire at the cottage – can never be a bad thing. Find camping chairs at the Danforth and St Clair West.

Portable Record Player

We’ve got several of these super convenient Crosley Keepsake USB Turntables with speakers available, along with a selection of records to borrow! Get your guests into the vinyl revival without even committing to it. The benefits of borrowing!

 

 Bubble Machine

Did you know we have a Bubble Machine? We do. And it’s awesome. This is excellent for children’s parties in the park or seriously just outside in the backyard with the a bunch of ‘adults.’

 

Fairy Lights

Make those bubbles shine in the dark with the addition of string of lights for your backyard. Congrats – you just took your outdoor patio party to the. next. level.

 

Folding Chairs

For those of you hosting a wedding or other large family gathering, we have got the chairs for you! 50 of them to be exact. Borrow as many of our Folding Chairs as you would like.

 

Pop-Up Tent

Maybe you’re heading to the beach or a music festival for the day and you need a little shelter but don’t want to go through the hair-pulling ordeal that is setting up a full-on tent (no, just me?). This Pop-up Tent will do the trick! It’s super easy to pop-up and pack flat again, no poles, no strings attached.

 

Tug of War Rope

We have a big ol’ traditional Tug of War Rope in our inventory! Borrow this rope and pit the Capitalists against the Sharing Economy advocates. Let us know who wins.

 

Games!

We’ve got many, many games in our inventory to entertain family and friends. Check out some highlights here or drop by to peruse our wall of games!

 

The Coolest Cooler

Make your summer gathering or camping trip extra ~cool~ 😎 with the all-in-one-everything cooler: The Coolest Cooler. It’s got a built in blender, bottle opener, usb charger, splash-proof blue tooth speakers, set of plates & MORE!

 

Portable Mixed-Drinks Kit

If you are drinking responsibly at your gathering, you might want to try The Portable Mized-Drinks Kit – which comes with tongs, bottle opener, two picnic-sized tumblers and “The Standard Bartenders Guide” by Patrick Gavin Duffy. Cute bartending dog not included. Sadly.

 


Infinite experiences – without the price tag or the clutter. We’re Canada’s first Library of Things network, where you can come to borrow camping gear, tools, board games, children’s toy, sports equipment and event supplies. Support us by becoming a member, making a donation or volunteering at one of our locations. If you are interested in learning how to set up your own Library of Things, get in touch with us for a free Skype consultation!

The Sharing Depot Blog

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Posted on / by Emily / in Blog / 2

Worn Out: 5 Ways to Mend Canada’s Growing Textile Waste Crisis

Sustainability is more than a trend in the fashion world – and we’re bringing together a group of local trailblazers during Slow Fashion October to discuss an industry at a turning point, what sustainable fashion actually looks like and how you can get involved. Take a break from all your swapping for new threads the sustainable way at Drop, Swap & Shop on October 14 to join us from 1:00pm-2:00pm to have an in-depth discussion about it!

 


 

I’m @itsahashtaglife, a social media manager, storyteller and blogger for non-profits and charities in Toronto. I take the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing and apply them to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story – one that is more sustainable and supportive of people and the planet.

 

Textile waste has risen dramatically around the world in step with the exponential growth in the production and consumption of clothing – we purchase 400 times more clothing now than we did in 1980 with the number of new garments created every year now exceeding 100 billion. Meanwhile, we’re only holding onto the clothes we purchase for about half as long as we used to.

One would think that the rise in our culture’s addiction to low quality disposable fashion would have been accompanied by an increase in sophisticated, efficient textile recycling services and facilities. But you would be dreaming because unfortunately this has not been the case. Thus, we have created the conditions for a perfect textile waste storm: between 1999 and 2009, the amount of textile waste generated by North America grew by over 40% to 25.46 billion pounds, which is expected to rise to 35.4 billion pounds by 2019. 85% of our used clothing, bed sheets, towels and other textiles goes straight to landfill, with the average North American contributing 81 pounds of textiles to landfill per year.

According to the 2018 State of Reuse Report, most people do not understand the extensive environmental consequences of sending textiles to landfill, which can take over 40 years to break down once there. In the process of breaking down, they release methane gas – a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2 – and toxic leachate. Even during the production process, textiles have a significant impact on the environment: for instance, one cotton t-shirt requires 700 gallons of water to make (the equivalent of 27 bathtubs full) and a pair of jeans requires 1,800 gallons. The textile industry uses one third of the world’s fresh water resources to produce new garments.

It’s easy to see how the fast fashion world has earned it’s reputation as the second dirtiest industry on the planet next to oil. And after several decades of shopping like there’s no tomorrow (because there isn’t one unless we stop this), we’re finally waking up to the fact that the catwalk of our trend-hungry modern life is going to walk us straight over the edge of a cliff. As with plastics, electronics and other waste sore spots in our culture, we are finally looking for solutions. So what are they and how can you get involved? Here are 5 things to get you started:

 

1) Borrow/Swap/Trade/Thrift

Consumers must recognize that the most sustainable item is the one that already exists. – 2018 State of Reuse Report

The first thing we need to do is recognize that reducing our consumption of new textiles is the most ethical solution to our shopping habits. “But I donate all the clothes I’ve only worn three times and then gotten sick of to charity!” I can hear you mumbling from here. While donating our unwanted textiles to charity is still a good thing to do, our culture has been leaning on that crutch to excuse our voracious appetite for more. While 60-70% of what gets donated is resold, much of that is bundled up in bales, weighed and sold overseas to developing nations where it has begun reeking havoc on local economies (it puts local textile industries and clothing manufacturers out of business, for instance, which is why East-Africa is trying to shut the door to our hand-me-downs).

Instead of buying things new, try finding what you’re looking for second hand in one of the following ways:

 

  • Do you need a fancy outfit or dress or just something nice for a special occasion? You can borrow fancy outfits and dresses from Rent Frock Repeat and stylish designer clothes through Boro. Toronto is also one step closer to getting a full blown ‘library of clothes’ thanks to FreshRents who has recently set up a clothing lending service pilot project through CSI Toronto. FreshRents will be joining us on October 14 to tell us all about it during our Sustainable Fashion Panel Discussion.

 

  • Hosting or attending a community swap is an awesome way to scratch that shopping itch the sustainable way. It is particularly effective to host swaps just prior to the changing of seasons so you can get what you need for the change in weather.

 

  • Trade for new-to-you clothes and other textiles using the popular Toronto-based app Bunz Trading Zone. This is an efficient and easy way to find what you need thanks to the app’s handy search function: if there is something in particular you are looking for, you just plug it into the search bar and any user with that item for trade pops up.

 

  • Go on a treasure hunt at you’re local second-hand shops! And if you don’t feel like digging through the racks of a thrift store for in-style and trendy pieces, check out the carefully curated consignment inventory at places like Common Sort or Kind Exchange.

 

2) Creative Reuse/Upcycling

Do you have old bedsheets, 10-year-old event t-shirts you’ll never wear, worn-out jeans or some other hideous item of clothing you wish you’d never laid eyes on let alone worn in public? These are really just upcycling and reuse projects waiting to happen!

Borrow some sewing machines from The Sharing Depot, gather your friends and have an upcycling partay! Here are some other upcycling and creative reuse projects to get you thinking about how to breath new life into unwanted textiles:

  • Take an old pair of jeans that have seen better days and make your own bunting and then use the scraps to make these cute bracelets.
  • Cut up worn-out sheets or clothing into rags to use around the house.
  • Replace paper towels, napkins, cotton facial rounds, etc with reusable alternatives by sewing your own out of used fabric.
  • Make your own reusable beeswax wraps out of scrap fabrics as an alternative to plastic wrap – these are super easy to make and if you burn beeswax candles, all you need to do is save the leftover wax.
  • Old pillow cases can transform into these garment bags or into reusable shopping bags(there’s even a no-sew way to do this).
  • Old t-shirts are actually just no-sew tote bags waiting to happen.

And so on! If you’re looking for further inspiration or want to get involved in the reuse community in Toronto, check out Creative Reuse Toronto – a diverse group of community members, artists, artisans, environmentalists, educators, academics, community arts workers, planners, film and textile workers who are working towards establishing a ‘Creative Reuse Centre’ in the city. Creative Reuse Toronto joins us for our Sustainable Fashion Panel Discussion on October 14.

 

3) Be Selective When Purchasing New

When you do purchase an item new, be selective about where and what you buy:

 

  • Look for businesses that are fully realizing what we talked about in point #2 – upcycling fabrics that already exist into new textiles. Zero Waste Daniel, for example, has launched a line of clothing that is made completely from the scraps of other clothing. This is amazing.

 

  • Quality over quantity – when you can, buy quality, well-made items that aren’t going to fall apart in one wash cycle and will be easier to maintain and repair. Avoid trendy pieces that you’ll get tired of after a few weeks and reach for classic, minimal styles instead. Look for textiles that are made using natural materials as opposed to synthetics (to cut back on microfiber pollution).

 

  • Support ethical manufacturers – there are a number of companies who are working to make the production of textiles more sustainable. H&M and Patagonia have begun providing some transparency into how their clothing is made and also offer some amount of textile recycling (I’m not sure I’m ready to classify H&M as an ethical manufacturer, but they are trying). Levi’s has begun accepting ANY brand of clothing or shoes in in-store recycling bins in the US and Canada (that’s pretty epic tbh).

 

  • Handmade clothing and textiles is back, in a big way. Support the #WhoMadeYourClothes movement – hop on Instagram and explore that hashtag (you can also check out #FashionRevolutionDay #FashRev #IMadeYourClothes). Clothing and textiles that are handmade in small batches are typically of a higher quality than something that is mass produced overseas. It’s going to last longer, it’s going to be easier to repair and you’ll be supporting the people who are making the clothing close to you (the average t-shirt travels 35,000 km before landing on your back so when you purchase from local makers, you are cutting down that distance). Makers often stick with minimal, classic styles that don’t go out of style and many are using/exploring the most sustainable ways to produce locally sourced natural fabrics.

Zero Waste Daniel

I think that when you make things, you can actually make change and instead of creating new resources, we’re adding value to them…to breath new life into them. – Zero Waste Daniel

 

4) Put Everything into Donation Bins

While there are articles out there lamenting that consumers are flooding clothing donation bins with everything (including single socks and worn out sheets), Fashion Takes Action sees it differently and I’m into it:

About 5% of what is collected is truly recycled and turned into new fabric, and eventually into new garments. H&M and Levi’s are two brands that are doing this (and they’re even collecting used textiles in their stores) but there are others doing this now, and I am confident that even more will jump on board in the next one to two years. It is this textile recycling that we need to grow – right here in Canada. It is what will create new jobs and support our country’s climate action plan under the Paris Agreement. So please, donate EVERYTHING and force industry and government to solve this massive issue. We have more power than we think.

We need to create the demand for better textile recycling facilities capable of separating mixed-materials and recycle them into fibres that can be turned into new textiles, such as Evrnu for example. Use donation bins as a way of strategically ‘voting’ for more and better textile recycling facilities. This is a key piece in resolving the textile waste crisis.

 

5) Advocate for Textile Recycling Services

In the 2018 State of Reuse Report, 44% of respondents said they threw clothing in the garbage because they were not aware of how/where to donate, think it’s too time consuming or find it inconvenient. 31% of respondents said they thought any clothing they put into their garbage or recycling bin was sorted out (false), 35% said they believe textiles decompose naturally (also false) and 64% said they believe it only takes 2 years for a synthetic t-shirt to break down (couldn’t be further from the truth, really).

They also found that 80% of respondents would only travel 15 minutes or less to find a clothing donation location.

These are important statistics as they reveal not only that there is a lack of public education surrounding the problems with textile waste, but also that in order to effectively change people’s behaviour we need to make the process more convenient. One way to solve this would be to offer a curb-side pick-up service for unwanted textiles, which Colchester County, Nova Scotia is testing out now.

Markham, Ontario has launched a textile recycling pilot project funded by a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities: to divert textiles away from its landfill, the city has placed over 100 bins located at city facilities and residential properties with more locations on the way. These ‘smart bins’ track the amount of textiles being donated for data-collection purposes and also send out signals telling the city when they need to be serviced. The wide-range of textiles that are collected – everything from bedding to fabric scraps to shoes to stuffed animals and so on – are sorted for resale at charities (as opposed to for-profit businesses) or repurposed into industrial rags, furniture padding, insulation, car seats and recycled fabrics.

If you feel so inclined, you can contact the our city’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee members to tell them you want better textile-recycling services in Toronto (rather than spending $31 million on new compost bins that our trash pandas can still open, maybe we could spend the money on something more sustainable next time *upside down smiley emoji*)

Christin Carmichael Greb
Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence
416-392-4090
Councillor_CarmichaelGreb@toronto.ca
Twitter handle: @CarmichaelGreb

Stephen Holyday
Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre
416-392-4002
councillor_holyday@toronto.ca
Twitter handle: @stephenholyday

Giorgio Mammoliti
Ward 7 York West
416-395-6401 /
constituency offc 416-395-6401
councillor_mammoliti@toronto.ca
Twitter handle: @mammolitiward7

Anthony Perruzza
Ward 8 York West
[i.e. around YorkU]
416-338-5335
councillor_perruzza@toronto.ca
Twitter handle: @PerruzzaTO

Jaye Robinson (Chair)
Ward 25 Don Valley West
416-395-6408
councillor_robinson@toronto.ca
Twitter handle: @JayeRobinson

 


Infinite experiences – without the price tag or the clutter. We’re Canada’s first Library of Things network, where you can come to borrow camping gear, tools, board games, children’s toy, sports equipment and event supplies. Support us by becoming a member, making a donation or volunteering at one of our locations. If you are interested in learning how to set up your own Library of Things, get in touch with us for a free Skype consultation!

The Sharing Depot Blog