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Where To Recycle E-Waste In Toronto

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Tool Blog |

Your E-Waste Recycling Guide for Toronto! At our Drop, Swap & Shop event last weekend at Evergreen Brickworks, we were extremely pleased to see how many of you brought out old electronics to be recycled by Recycle My Electronics! So. much. e-waste. was retired with dignity last Sunday. So we decided to put a handy list together for Torontonians – so we can ensure that we live like it’s Earth Day everyday and avoid putting e-waste where it doesn’t belong. *** It should be noted: if you are looking to get an item repaired, the Repair Cafe Toronto now hold weekly repair sessions at our Hillcrest Location (830 St Clair West) every Sunday afternoon from 12-4pm.   1) Recycle My Electronics Recycle My Electronics have drop-off locations all over the city where you can take a number of different items.   2) reBOOT Canada reBOOT Canada is an awesome organization. They are a Toronto-based, Canadian-registered charity that safely recycles and refurbishes donated computer equipment, through focused e-waste landfill diversion. They bridge the digital divide by providing subsidized and reliable access to technology, software and computer education to those who need it. You can drop off or have them pick items up. More information about drop-offs/pick-ups and what they accept here.   3) Project Get Reel Toronto’s Red Propeller runs Project Get Reel, which takes VHS tapes and other magnetic media, digital and vinyl to be recycled for a small fee. They divert the recyclable components of VHS and other media tapes from going into landfills. Which conserves natural resources, reduces waste and accelerates the transition to a circular economy. YAY! They offer a data conversion service for those wanting to transfer the information on their old VHS tapes into a digital format. They also have a car seat recycling program, which we love. Because used car seats can not be resold, a staggering ¼ of a million of them end up in landfills every year. That’s just not acceptable. Please spread the word about Toronto’s car seat recycling service.   4) TerraCycle TerraCycle will provide you with a shipping sticker so that you can send your E-Waste to them in the mail free of charge. They take a limited selection of items, but they do have a points program where you collect points for every item sent in and redeem them for charitable gifts or a payment of $0.01 per point to the non-profit organization or school of your choice. And here come the really cool part: they are also transparent about where their e-waste is going and how it is broken down for reuse. They aim to use a circular approach when repurposing the waste collected, including refurbishing electronics, turning waste into pellets...

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7 Lifestyle Changes To Make It Earth Day Everyday

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd – a day when environmentalists, activists and citizens organize and attend events that demonstrate support for environmental protection (we’re holding our own with Evergreen Brickworks!). Earth Day was launched April 1970 by Denis Hayes and has evolved into an international day of action – observed by 200 countries around the world! – to change human behavior and provoke policy changes. On that note of changing human behaviour, we’ve put together a list for those of you looking to make it Earth Day everyday!   1) Avoid Buying Things 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, is a big factor in climate change and also negatively impacts human emotional well-being. Drop below the radar of the invisible hand by swapping, trading, borrowing and utilizing Toronto’s ‘free markets.’ Where you can, try: joining us at our gigantic bi-annual Drop, Swap & Shop event with Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto (one coming up on April 23rd) trading for items using the popular app Bunz Trading Zone. This app is fantastic because it has a search bar – if there is something in particular you are looking for, you just plug it into the search engine 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 handle app Peerby. looking for items at Toronto’s Really Really Free Market, which takes place the first Saturday of every month. Yes, it is exactly as it sounds – people bring things they no longer want or need and everything it placed out on tables in a park for others to take. it. is. amazing. looking for items on Toronto’s Freecycle app, another great resource where Torontonians put up items they no longer want for free on the app, which also has a search function so you can search for specific items you need. 2) Dare To Repair!  When something breaks down, rather than tossing it out, take it to a Repair Cafe to get it fixed instead. The repair cafe in Toronto is an incredible resource – we now have a space for them at our 830 St Clair West location where they will be holding weekly Repair Cafes every Sunday afternoon from 12-4pm! How does a Repair Cafe work? Bring your broken item and an expert volunteer will fix it up for you while you have the provided coffee/tea and snacks! I was thoroughly impressed with them when I brought in a clothing hand steamer that...

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Because It Takes A Village

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

So here we are – four years after launching Toronto’s first Tool Library – renovating our fourth location at 830 St. Clair West. It’s always a bit daunting opening a new location as running and maintaining tool libraries is no easy task – it’s a lot of work and the daily operations for these spaces are fully reliant on volunteer efforts. They are community-driven projects and any money generated from memberships goes back into operating the space. But, the benefits of these sharing projects are many and so we continue to put our time and energy into opening tool libraries. But that isn’t what this post is about. This post is about the fact that each and every time we announce the launch of a new location, we are greeted with such positivity and enthusiasm from the community. St. Clair West has been no exception. These past few weekends, we have been joined by so many amazing, dedicated volunteers who have been helping us renovate and prepare the space. We are just so grateful that there are others out there who share our vision of a world where resources are shared and everyone has access to the things they need. We couldn’t do this without all of these passionate people sharing their skills, talents and time with us. Because it takes a village to raise a truly genuine sharing economy. Here are some photos of our progress to far (thanks to @laurairuegas for taking these fantastic images for us): Get Involved! Get Involved! All photos taken by...

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Volunteers Needed!

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

The Toronto Tool Library/Sharing Depot team is pleased to announce – we’re opening a new location at 830 St. Clair West! This location will include a Tool Library, a Sharing Depot AND a space for the Repair Cafe Toronto! We are now looking for Volunteers to help us set up this next awesome sharing space in Toronto. This weekend we will be making our space look amazing by building our furniture, painting, cleaning and much more. No experience is required, we will have professional guidance from our Tool Ninja’s on site! Free pizza and drinks will be available for all volunteers. If you are interested in joining us or want more details, you can...

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The Basic Income Debate

Posted by on Feb 11, 2017 in Tool Blog |

Conversations about Universal Basic Income (UBI) are heating up as Prince Edward Island passed its first motion to participate in a pilot project with the federal government. However, plans are far from final, and as the Ontario Liberals consider their own model, it is imperative to really dissect what benefits or dangers UBI could bring, particularly as it is being constructed from within the very neoliberal structures which have shaped our current economic strategies. Today’s employment landscape is one marred by seriously defunct socio-economic systems and an overburdened and failing welfare strategy. Since the 1970s, national economic policies have focused more on GDP growth than on full employment, with noticeable repercussions: increased disparity, low job security, fewer benefits and slashes in social safety nets. All of this combined with the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the workplace, we’ve created what Guy Standing refers to as the “Precariat” class: those who live in a constant state of precariousness and insecurity. “The Precarity Penalty”, released in 2015 by PEPSO (a joint effort between McMaster University and the United Way) found that an astounding 44% of working Canadian adults fall into this category. They were further found to live in households whose overall income was less than 38% than those in “stable” employment, and represented high rates of mental and physical stress, community and family tension and difficulty securing childcare and job training. What has been trying to respond to all of these market failures is an overstressed and poorly managed welfare system – one that, as a result, is invasive, rigid and all too often misses the mark. There is ample criticism that UBI is not the solution to this dire climate. Groups like The Fraser Institute point to the high costs associated with its implementation, and claim it will actually discourage people to work. The economics indeed play a dangerous balancing act. If the basic income is set too low, no real impact can be made. Some argue that Ontario’s projected $1320/month (as reported by Hugh Segal’s “Finding Better Way”) falls into this category. If set too high, the project’s sustainability is threatened – not to mention that recipients can “coast” on the base provision and lose motivation to work. Or so the argument goes. To engage in a debate regarding numbers that have yet to be finalized seems moot in comparison to the less discussed issue at hand: can UBI be constructed in a way that is truly progressive and enabling, or is it doomed to be a devastating capitalization of social welfare, incapable of detangling itself from its neoliberal culture? Well-intentioned support for UBI often highlights the autonomy and agency that the model could bring....

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Top 5 Reasons Every Child Should Be A Maker

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Tinkering, making, creating and playing. These activities are finally being recognized for what they are – an essential part of a child’s education and development. The Maker Education Revolution that began in Makerspaces across the world over 10 years ago is finally breaking down the barriers into the mainstream – and into our classrooms. And that is a very good thing for our communities and our planet. Maker Summer Camp! A Maker Education:   1) Promotes a ‘Growth Mindset’ Author and psychologist Carol Dweck proposes two mindsets that the growing brain can take on – one is called the fixed mindset and one is called the growth mindset. When children take on a fixed mindset, they believe that they are good at some things and not others and that their skills just come to them naturally. With a growth mindset, the learner believes that they can become good at something through doing, learning, experience, etc. Learning and development is something you work at, not something that just happens. Children who have developed a growth mindset tend to be more resilient, handling challenges better and pushing themselves passed obstacles. Maker education fosters this Growth Mindset because of it’s emphasis on not knowing the solution to a problem and then developing and learning through the process:  “It’s not just a matter of what you know, it’s a matter of taking risks and perhaps failing and learning from those failures.” Learning how to fail – and subsequently picking yourself up, reflecting and trying again – is a crucial skill for navigating our constantly changing world.   2) Develops Character and Purpose Learning-by-doing not only helps children become resilient in the face of challenges, it also works to develop character and a sense of purpose: “That is one of the most important outcomes a maker educator sees…Learning how to make things, being involved in maker-centered education, helps young people develop a sense of agency in the world, a sense that they can change the world.” At the heart of making is the concept that all students are creators. Rather than memorizing facts to regurgitate on a test, young makers are encouraged to bring what they know to a problem in order to solve it or to use their skills to design and build a project. Whether it’s designing and building a pinball machine from scratch or bringing to life a computer-generated design on a 3D Printer, these activities are important precisely for the reason that they instil a sense of confidence in the child’s ability to act on their environment.   3) Deepens Social and Emotional Skills Not only does making help children learn to effectively problem-solve, it teaches them to effectively problem-solve TOGETHER. Maker education places a big emphasis on collaboration. Children are encouraged...

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