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Zero Waste Kit Giveaway

Posted by on Feb 6, 2018 in Tool Blog |

In celebration of our crowdfund campaign to Keep the Toronto Tool Library Alive, we’re launching a new giveaway for a Zero Waste Kit. By donating at the $55 reward level or above, from now until Sunday, you’ll automatically be entered into the draw to win this Zero Waste Kit at $200+ retail value. Below outlines what you’ll win in the kit, how to enter and the rules: Zero Waste Kit includes: Bea Johnson’s book “Zero Waste Home“ $100 Saponetti gift certificate for refillable soaps and laundry detergent Boomerang bag, limited edition upcycled bag Stojo Collapsable Cup for coffee, tea or water Eco-Bags: Produce bags + bread bag Stainless steel lunch box Reusable cutlery set that is stainless steel Reusable straw that is stainless steel with cleaner Rules for the Draw: No purchase necessary, simply enter the draw by donating to our crowdfund campaign here at the $55 reward level or above and you will be automatically entered. All previous donors (at the $55 reward level or above) are automatically entered into the draw. Each new donation by the same individual will receive a new ticket into the draw, at a limit of 10 tickets per person based on 10 individual donations by that same person. The winner will be announced in late February 2018 via the email address provided in the crowdfund payment page. We will only email once and if no response by the winner after 1 week, a new individual will be selected for the winning prize. If the email bounces, they are also disqualified from the draw. Previous crowdfund campaigns by IRBE or other donations provided to IRBE, outside of the Keep the Tool Library Alive campaign, is not included in this draw. Deadline: The deadline of the draw ends at midnight EST on February 11th, 2018....

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What Communal Living Taught me About my Mental Health

Posted by on Jan 31, 2018 in Tool Blog |

  As some of you probably already know, the team behind the Toronto Tool Library and The Sharing Depot lived together in a communal house for a number of years in Toronto. I was part of that communal house for just over three years. I have also struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life and on #BellLetsTalk Day, I want to share what happened to my mental health issues while I was living in a supportive, connected environment. This is something I have had on the back burner for a number of years now, but as someone who writes about the sharing economy, sustainability and waste reduction strategies, I couldn’t quite find a place for it. I hope to be able to weave a thread through this that brings mental health issues back to the fundamental importance of what we do with our lending libraries in Toronto. Here it goes:   Chemicals – It’s all in Your Brain    Over the years, articles like this one have begun trickling down into the mainstream to challenge the 20th century theory of depression and anxiety – namely, that these mental ailments are caused by chemical imbalances in the physical structure of the brain. When Prozac was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration 30 years ago it marked the beginning of a new era of prescribed antidepressants, further embedding this theory in the cultural narrative. In a world that has long stigmatized and outright delegitimized mental health issues as non-issues, the chemical imbalance theory has done wonders to raise mental illness up as equal to and just as deserving of treatment as any other physical ailment. If depression is a biological condition affecting the material conditions of the body, it should be treated with as much urgency as a broken bone or heart condition. Stigma-busting campaigns such as #BellLetsTalk and One Brave Night have provided a platform to voice concerns about the less than sub-par treatment programs currently in place and demand better (in Canada, only 7% of the 21 billion dollars our country spends on health care goes towards mental health. We lag far behind other progressive countries like New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom where funding ranges from 10-14% of the health care budget). When I was a teenager, I went to my doctor and told her I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and likely depression. Because Major Depressive Disorder runs in my family and both my mother and grandmother were on antidepressants, I didn’t even bat an eyelash when my doctor took out her notepad and began writing me a prescription for my first antidepressant. Par for the course – there was something wrong with the physical structure of my brain, I probably inherited...

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Join our Team – We’re Hiring an Executive Director!

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in Tool Blog |

The non-profit behind the Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot is currently looking for a motivated individual to join our team as Executive Director!   The Institute for a Resource-Based Economy (IRBE) is a 6-year-old organization responsible for the Toronto Tool Library, it’s east-end Makerspace, and the Sharing Depot, Canada’s first Library of Things. We believe in accelerating the arrival of a new economy through practical sharing projects. Thus far, at our 3 city locations, we have amassed an inventory of over 10,000 items that we share with our 5,000 members, who have borrowed from us over 65,000 times. IRBE is a non-profit run by a board of directors whose vision and mission are overseen and delivered by their Executive Director (ED).   You will find a job description as well as a list of qualifications in the above document, or you can download it here: View & Download Job Description Here To apply for this position please send your resume and cover letter to Deadline for applications is January 31st at 11:59pm. Any personal stories of sharing are welcome 🙂...

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21 Easy DIY & Upcycling Gift Ideas They Will Actually LOVE

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Tool Blog |

The Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot have partnered with Greenpeace Canada this year as part of their #MakeSMTHNG Week campaign to encourage people to buy and waste less this Holiday Season! Our  Make Smthg Week event will be held on December 16th at 720 Bathurst St, 10am-3pm and will include a gift swap, maker stations to make your own gifts, a zero waste wrapping table, giveaways, live music and MORE! To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of easy to make DIY and upcycling projects that can be given as gifts to get you thinking outside the gift box this year. Happy making!   DIY Candles in Upcycled Beer/Wine Bottles Make your own candles and put them in upcycled wine or beer bottles! How can you make old beer and wine bottles into candle-holding devices you ask? With a Kinkajou Bottle Cutter of course! For those of you in Toronto, we will be bringing our Kinkajou Bottle Cutters to the 5th annual Holiday Gift Swap. Come cut some bottles with us and check out the following DIY candle recipes: Vanilla and Lavender/Lemonade candles Lavender/Rosemary candles Homemade candles using a slow cooker DIY Beeswax Candles These festive, holiday inspired scented candles   Lightbulb Terrarium  Upcycle an old lightbulb and make your own terrarium to give as a gift. You can probably find trinkets and nicknacks around your house to include or check out thrift stores to find some items second hand. Here’s a list of 21 creative terrarium ideas you can make, including the one pictured below.   Upcycled Sweater Slippers Go grab a big old cozy sweater from your local thrift store and make these lovely upcycled sweater slippers. Who wants to get overpriced made-in-China slippers that are going to fall apart in no time when they could have a sweater transformed with love into slippers from you? You can do exactly the same thing with mittens.   Upcycled Sock Gloves On a similar note, you can upcycle that pair of socks with a hole in the toe (or find a nice pair at a thrift store) into fingerless gloves! Here’s an online tutorial to walk you through it.   Rustic Log Candle Holders These DIY rustic log candle holders are incredibly easy to make and we’ll have all the tools you need to make them at the 5th annual Holiday Gift Swap on December 16th! Because we’ve partnered with Greenpeace Canada as part of their #MakeSMTHNG Week initiative to get people to buy and waste less this holiday season, we’ll have three maker stations available to help you make holiday gifts. Come on out to make some of these rustic log candle holders and make your own tea lights by following these instructions here. Note: always...

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10 Ways To Give The Gift Of Experience This Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 9, 2017 in Tool Blog |

Christmas is fast approaching. In the coming weeks, we will be bombarded with ads and shiny storefront display windows attempting to separate us from our hard-earned cash. But will this or that thing really make your holiday – or life – that much better? Recent research suggests that actually, the purchase of more stuff is not the road one should take if lasting happiness is the goal. So with this in mind, perhaps it’s time to start thinking outside the gift box. Here’s a list of alternative gift ideas for those who would rather give the gift of experience this holiday season! Check it out:   1) A Membership To The Toronto Tool Library Don’t get the DIYer on your list just one tool – get them access to 5000+ tools as a member of the Toronto Tool Library. Not only will they able to borrow the tools they need for all kinds of projects, this membership will get them discounts on all the workshops we run out of our Makerspace. For the serious Makers on your list, consider a Makerspace Membership. This will give them 24/7 access to the woodshop, laser cutter, 3D Printers and MORE. Makerspace members get free training on all the tools in the space, as well as discounts on speciality workshops. *** we are currently running a Buy One, Gift One Holiday Membership Deal, which includes both the Sharing Depot and Toronto Tool Library *** Holiday Membership Deal  *** 2) Workshops/Classes For Those Who Want To Learn New Skills For those who are sew inclined, there are lots of sewing classes to take in Toronto beginning in January: check out Sew Be It Studio and The Make Den. Or perhaps you know an Instagram-savvy individual who wants to up their photography game: there’s lots of photography classes in the city for that! For the foodie on you list, try grabbing them some cooking classes from one’s Toronto’s many fantastic cooking studios. Maybe include a fave fancy hand-written recipe and promise to bake/cook it with them! Maybe you have a budding DIYer on your list who would appreciate some hands-on Maker Workshops. The Shop Toronto offers gift certificates so your special someone can pick which workshop speaks to them. Check out this list of Makerspaces in Toronto for more options.   3) A Membership to The Sharing Depot Maybe they aren’t a DIYer or tool inclined, but would love the environmental benefits that come from participating in the sharing economy. Get them a year-long Membership to The Sharing Depot – Canada’s first Library of Things – where they can borrow camping gear, board games, party supplies, children’s toys and sports equipment. Basically when you give them a Membership to the Sharing Depot, you’re giving them the gift of a whole store...

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