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Show Us How You Get Wasteless, Toronto!

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

  In celebration of Waste Reduction Week and Zero Waste October, we’re launching a giveaway to WIN a pair of tickets to see Bea Johnson in Toronto on October 26. Everyone who participates in the giveaway campaign will also be entered into a draw to win a backpack from Patagonia, which was generously donated for the event.     How to Enter the #LetsGetWasteless Giveaway:   Share a photo on Instagram OR Twitter showing one action you take to reduce waste. TAG a friend in your post who you would like to bring with you to see Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home in Toronto. TAG Toronto Tool Library on Instagram @torontotoollibrary OR Twitter @TOtoollibrary Use the hashtag #LetsGetWasteless in your post.   NOTE: if you are participating on Instagram, your account has to be public for us to be able to see your post.   The winner of the giveaway will be selected at random and notified on October 24th. The winner will be contacted on via their post on either Instagram or Twitter. Following the giveaway for tickets to the event, each person who participated in the #LetsGetWasteless campaign will also be entered into a draw to win a Patagonia backpack. The winner of the backpack will be selected at random and contacted on their post, either on Twitter or Instagram....

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A Winter Alternative to Farmers’ Markets: the Good Food Box

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

The Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot at 1803 Danforth Ave are partnering with FoodShare Toronto as a pick-up location for their Good Food Box Program! As the summer farmers’ markets wind down, a Good Food Box is a great winer option for those looking for fresh produce. What is the Good Food Box Program? FoodShare’s Good Food Box is a subsidized fresh produce distribution program. FoodShare’s distribution of fresh produce started 15 years ago as a way to create linkages between field and table. The goal was to increase the income of farmers, at the same time make affordable produce more accessible to Toronto communities. Find more information about the project online here. This is the easier, cheaper way to access local, seasonal produce in Toronto. * How Does It Work? * Step 1: Select which food box you would like to order. You can see what’s inside the different boxes by clicking here. Step 2: Contact Jonathan at to place your order. Step 3: Your box will be delivered to 1803 Danforth Ave, Toronto Tool Library/Sharing Depot. Delivery days are the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. Pick up your box and enjoy! Step 4: Repeat steps 1 through 3! Order A Good Food Box! Find out more about the Good Food Box program by reading their online flyer. To order your box, contact Jonathan at  * Why order a Good Food Box?   1) You Save Money The Good Food Program acts like a large buying club purchasing large quantities of produce from farmers and the Ontario Food Terminal at affordable rates. They are able to do this because all the boxes are pre-ordered and each type of box contains the same contents. Like our organization, volunteers who give their time help to keep rates down for you. Over 15 volunteers come to FoodShare’s warehouse every week to pack up to 1500 boxes. FoodShare also subsidizes the cost of the staff, warehouse rent and delivery costs by accepting generous donations and grants from the public, governments and foundations. The value of the $18 box at a regular supermarket often ranges between $25 and $27, depending on the store and the time of year.   2) You Support Local Family Farms A healthy farm economy helps to boost the urban economy and helps ensure we have access to affordable, local produce. By building relationships with local farmers we keep box prices low while paying hardworking farmers a fair price.   3) You Support the Environment Whenever possible, the Good Food Box features seasonal Ontario-grown products, supporting local farmers and saving fuel. Eating local food that is in season is more environmentally friendly: Imported food travels on average 2,500 km before it reaches our homes. That is roughly the...

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After-School Maker Education Programs with TTL Kids!

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in Tool Blog |

The Toronto Tool Library offers a variety of kid-friendly maker education programs. Our Youth Instructors are trained professionals, dedicated to assisting and guiding makers in the making with safe tool-use and groups projects like robot builds, 3D printing, arts & crafts, gardening and more! Check out our upcoming After-School Programs below! *** Robot & Obstacle Course Build Our most popular beginner course, the Obstacle Course and Robot Build works to foster a strong sense of collaborative problem solving skills through a large-scale obstacle course team build. Participants will work together to design and build an obstacle course and independently work to create robots that they will then use to navigate the “opposing” team’s obstacle course. Participants will develop knowledge of basic robotics, design, and structural engineering, while having ample opportunity to learn how to use the laser cutter as well as various power & hand tools. Suitable for Young Makers age 8+ Date: Thursday, October 5th – November 23rd Time: 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. Cost: $275 Where: East-end location (1803 Danforth Ave.) Register Now *** Maker Sampler Maker Sampler is a program designed to introduce Young Makers to the exciting world of MAKING. Throughout the 8-week program, participants will dabble in 3D printing, woodworking, laser cutting, programming, designing, and electronics. They will be introduced to a lot of cool, very accessible tools such as TinkerCAD, and 123D-Make. While we like to explore the program’s curriculum options with our group of Young Makers before settling firmly on anything, this program will include: an intro to 3D printing with a tutorial in TinkerCAD, a laser-cutting project, use of tools (including power tools in our fully outfitted woodshop), and an exploration of circuits. Suitable for Young Makers age 8+ Date: Tuesday, October 3rd – November 21st Time: 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. Cost: $275 Where: East-end location (1803 Danforth Ave.) Register Now *** Community Builder The Toronto Tool Library constantly strives to make our community better! In this eight-week after-school program, Young Makers will focus on projects that do just that. Participants will make bee hotels and bird houses to take home (or donate to a community garden). Ultimately the big project will be working together to build a Little Free Library for a decided upon area in the community. This program focuses on community, collaborative planning, and woodworking. Under the close guidance of our facilitators, Young Makers will learn how to safely operate woodworking tools such as the chop saw, drill press, bandsaw, belt sander, and much more! Suitable for Young Makers age 10+ Date: Wednesday, October 4th – November 22nd Time: 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. Cost: $275 Where: East-end location (1803 Danforth Ave.) Register...

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To Shop Green or Share Everything: is that the Question?

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Tool Blog |

  Whether coming at it from a social justice perspective, an environmental angle, or in wanting to support local resilience and innovation, there is a loud discussion occurring about how to best go about consuming and using the goods and services that we do. Two approaches come to mind: “green consumerism” and “sharing economies”, both of which have been touted as being better for people and the planet.   In their own ways, each can contribute to a healthier economy, though it’s important to acknowledge the misconceptions and gaps that accompany each one. The Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot are often asked about the difference, and under which umbrella we consider ourselves. While we don’t disagree with making conscious decisions in what we do buy, what we are really looking to support is the vibrant movement towards buying less, and better sharing the wealth and resources that we already have.     Having this green consumption vs. sharing economy debate ought to start by clarifying some terms. For the purpose of this article, we look to the good ol’ Oxford Dictionary to define green consumerism as the “practice of purchasing products which are regarded as environmentally responsible”. We might expand this to also acknowledge just how intricate this process actually is, and how the process in itself is largely dependent on the amount of information made publicly available about a company’s sourcing, production and labour practices.   You Can’t Have Your Green Cake and Eat It Too   Green consumerism can be a powerful tool for market change. For one thing, it indicates to corporations, producers and vendors that there is a demand for “ethical” products and services. That demand is rising, particularly amongst Millennials. In a way, green consumerism plays a small role in challenging neoliberal economic assumptions by proving that homo economicus is driven by much more than simply the best price. Consumers are shaped by a little thing called “values” or “ethics”, the recognition of which injects a glimpse of individual choice and, well, humanity into the equation.   However, green consumerism is not without its controversies and this begins in some of its contradictions. Awareness of the ethical consumer as distinct from the price-driven consumer has been capitalized on through marketing and brand loyalty. While Chevron’s infamous 1980s “People Do” commercial stands out as the exaggerated epitome of greenwash marketing, there are more subtle forms, including eco-labeling which has created a crisis in consumer trust. With so many labels and buzzwords out there, it’s tough for a consumer to know what has really been “ethically” produced, let alone recognize that it is not a one size fits all process – what is designated organic does not necessarily mean it was farmed with ecological practices, produced with fair labour, or traveled fewer food miles.    ...

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The Future of Clothing: it’s Time to Wear Different

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Tool Blog |

* With the dawn of the industrial revolution, we began to see the rise of automation and large businesses. As people moved from small towns to big cities, large corporations replaced small merchants, and local markets gave way to national distributors. This was the beginning of the shift away from collaborative consumption and towards mass consumerism, the very life blood of our current economic system.   As a society, we have been trained to want to buy. This is a result of large businesses controlling what we think while being incentivized to continually grow the bottom line. The only issue is that infinite growth with the wrong incentives cannot work on a finite planet.   The sharing economy is reviving collaborative consumption and reimaging peer-to-peer-based activity. It is about sharing what we own and enjoying access to commonly owned goods. It is about understanding what we need, not impulsing on what we want.   Many of the companies that participate in the sharing economy have us engaging in behaviors that were previously unthinkable. We are getting into strangers’ cars (Uber), welcoming them into our spare rooms (Airbnb), dropping our dogs off at their homes (DogVacay), and eating food in their dining rooms (Feastly).   This raises the question, what if everyone could instantly have access to quality garments so they do not have to purchase them? What if the garments they had access to were not from businesses but from their community? How might this change our concept of ownership in an industry that prides itself on always having something “new”?   From these questions, Boro was born.   The Boro Concept   Boro was founded with a lofty objective: to offer quality garments at an accessible price, to pursue accessibility over ownership, and to lead the way for socially conscious retail businesses.   Boro is a trusted community marketplace for women to list, discover, and borrow clothing from the stylish closets of Toronto.     No more having to spend hundreds of dollars for a quality garment you will only wear once. All of our pieces come from women in Toronto. They spent hundreds of dollars on it for an event, wore it once, then stuffed it in the back of their closet. Boro brings life back to these designer pieces while making our lenders money and our customers look amazing, save money, and reduce waste.   If you were to Boro (rent) a garment for a 4 or 10-day period, we deliver it to whichever location is most convenient for you. At the end of the rental period, we pick it up and handle the cleaning. All you have to worry about is looking amazing. If you are concerned...

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