Sustainable West Seattle @ Farmers Market This Sunday; Bring Unwanted Stuff for Tool Library

Visit the Sustainable West Seattle booth at the West Seattle Farmers Market this Sunday, October 14.

Also bring your tools to donate to the West Seattle Tool Library.

We also have the West Seattle Walking Trails map and the South Park, White Center and Central District walking maps.

We’re here to help you with your questions about being more sustainable, about being a bit more green, and we’re here to take your left-over or under-used tools for the West Seattle Tool Library.

We also have the latest information on the many projects SWS members are involved with, including permaculture and wastewater.  Concerned about earthquakes?  We have information on Emergency Preparedness here in West Seattle, as well as other community info from partners like CoolMom.

We’re tabling at the Farmers Market and working with the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance folks to keep a non-profit and green presence in the Market area.

If anyone is interested in tabling, drop by and leave your name and contact information and we’ll be happy to schedule you for a shift.  This is a great way to meet your fellow West Seattleites and a great way to make a better acquaintance with the farmers and producers who help keep the West Seattle Farmers Market such a great place to shop healthy and local.

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Sustainable West Seattle @ Farmers Market this Sunday

Visit the Sustainable West Seattle booth at the West Seattle Farmers Market this Sunday, September 2.

Also bring your tools to donate to the West Seattle Tool Library.

We also have the West Seattle Walking Trails map and the South Park, White Center and Central District walking maps.

We’re here to help you with your questions about being more sustainable, about being a bit more green, and we’re here to take your left-over or under-used tools for the West Seattle Tool Library.

We also have the latest information on the many projects SWS members are involved with, including Permaculture and the Sustainable Film Series.  Concerned about earthquakes?  We have information on Emergency Preparedness here in West Seattle, as well as other community info from partners like CoolMom.

We’re tabling at the Farmers Market and working with the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance folks to keep a non-profit and green presence in the Market area.

If anyone is interested in tabling, drop by and leave your name and contact information and we’ll be happy to schedule you for a shift.  This is a great way to meet your fellow West Seattleites and a great way to make a better acquaintance with the farmers and producers who help keep the West Seattle Farmers Market such a great place to shop healthy and local.

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Grainger Foundation Gives Tool Library $10K Gift

The West Seattle Tool Library officially opened its doors in June of 2010, offering free community access to a rather decent variety of over 100 tools out of a small storage closet. Just two years later, that modest collection has now grown to over 1,500 tools, serving a membership of around 700 neighbors from a wonderfully renovated workshop space at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

Though an incredible amount of volunteer effort, staff time, and member support certainly helped bring this community resource to life, The Tool Library also owes a tremendous deal of gratitude and thanks to its generous donors. These donors include The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, The West Seattle Garden Tour, Alaska Airlines, and, most recently, The Grainger Foundation.

In honor of The Tool Library’s achievements – and to ensure its ability to pursue all its exciting potential – The Grainger Foundation recently awarded The Tool Library with a extremely generous grant in the amount $10,000. As an organization that encourages sustainability, community involvement, technical training, and disaster preparedness, The Grainger Foundation identified The Tool Library as a natural partner. We couldn’t agree more!

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the entire Grainger organization for all their support and recognition, as well as all the other great work that they continue to support throughout the country.

Pictured in this photo taken in The Tool Library’s Workshop are (from left to right) Bob Noble, Grainger Assistant Branch Manager; Gene Boyington, Grainger Branch Manager; Christina Hahs, SWS president; Richard Garrett, Grainger Customer Service Associate and National Sustainability Chair; Micah Summers, SWS Tool Library manager; and Patrick Dunn, SWS Tool Library Founder.

In response to the demands from our membership and the greater community, The Tool Library will now use these funds to support our education curriculum, continue to develop our mobile operations, and increase our open hours to make The Tool Library even more accessible to all our neighbors throughout the region.

After two full years in operation and with all of this generous support, in many ways we kinda feel like we’re just getting going!

Thank you for your continued support of Sustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Tool Library.

 

SWS & West Seattle Nursery Present GreenLife at the West Seattle Summer Fest

Sustainable West Seattle and the West Seattle Nursery once again are pleased to sponsor and present this year’s GreenLife exposition as part of the three-day-long West Seattle Summer Fest, Friday, July 13, Saturday July 14, and Sunday, July 15, in the West Seattle Junction.  The GreenLife area is at the south end of Summer Fest’s California Avenue line, near SW Edmunds Street in the Tech Services parking lot.

Come visit us during Summer Fest.  We have lots of information and there will be booths from a wide range of local green and sustainable businesses and organizations.

This year, as we did last year, we have a full lineup of presentations and demonstrations which will begin Friday at 1:00 pm.  The presentations continue  every hour on the hour for all three Festival days with the last presentation on Sunday at 4:45 pm.

The presentations will take place on a stage adjacent to the West Seattle Nursery/Sustainable West Seattle tent in the middle of the GreenLife area.  We’ll be very hard to miss.  Plus, we’re providing space for our partners CoolMom, Backyard Habitats, Whale Trail, Community Orchard, and Longfellow Creek Watershed.

Solar Epiphany is sponsoring the presentation/demonstration stage, which also features 15-minute Solar Power updates at the end of each hour’s presentation.

The hourly presentations include everything from how to remake your home in a sustainable manner, how to use a rain garden and harvest and preserve home-grown fruits and vegetables, how to use the Sun’s thermal energy to heat your home and water, how to prevent storm water runoff from getting into Puget Sound, what are Greenways and how can you bike safely, a special presentation by Occupy West Seattle on whether our current economy is sustainable, and a cart of bicycles to try out from Bikeworks, and much more.

The demonstration and presentation schedule is linked below:

West Seattle Summer Fest GreenLife Demo Sked 2012 (a downloadable PDF of the schedule)

The schedule for each day is listed in our Calendar section and also linked below:

A special feature of this year’s GreenLife will be the Mobile Tool Library, which will be on display during the Festival and which will begin serving West Seattle immediately following this year’s festival.  Organizations and work parties interested in using the Mobile Tool Library later in July should contact Micah Summers or Patrick Dunn at the Tool Library.

If you are interested in volunteering at GreenLife, please sign up using our online sign-up sheet.  We hope to see you there!

West Seattle Tool Library Publishes “Tool Library Starter Kit” To Help Kickstart Others

By Patrick Dunn

SWS Board Member & West Seattle Tool Library Founder

It might seem a little risky to lend out a bunch of power tools to those who probably don’t know how to use them. After all, tools can be dangerous, people can be idiots, and we live in an exceptionally litigious society. For some strange but very understandable reason, those concerns alone have been more than enough to effectively end many community tool libraries before they even start.

As the sharing economy continues to blossom, however, more communities are overcoming that inherent fear and establishing lending libraries to embrace the beautiful benefits of sharing with neighbors. Through Google groups, starter kits, and incubator workshops, new tool libraries now have the ability to overcome their inherent concerns by learning from the experiences of many who have come before them.

Though it seems like a relatively unique idea, around 40 community tool libraries already exist throughout the United States, from Philadelphia to Seattle and south to Oakland and New Orleans. Each has its own unique flavor but most operate roughly the same way by accepting tool donations from the community and then lending those tools out for free—or nearly free—to anyone capable of presenting an ID and signing a waiver. Through that basic setup, some tool libraries have been happily participating in the sharing economy for over 20 years.

While most tool libraries are more than willing to share whatever they’ve learned, a handful of libraries have recently led the charge towards making it increasingly easy for even the most cautious and underfunded communities to take up the challenge. Strangely enough, these libraries happen to be some of the youngest.

In like fashion, the founders of The West Seattle Tool Library, myself included, also felt compelled to share everything we were learning in the planning and management of our own tool library. Since the first day we starting planning the project, our hope was to develop The West Seattle Tool Library into an easily replicable model for any individuals and organizations interested in starting their own version.

“The biggest reward for me is being a part of the amazing community of tool libraries, as well as all the makers, fixers, artisans, and neighbor s who use them,” says Gene Homicki, one of The West Seattle Tool Library’s founders, “I wanted to encourage that community’s growth by making sure that everyone who is interested in tool libraries has access to all the resources they needed.”

With that in mind, The West Seattle Tool Library set about creating a tool library starter kit. Our hope was that this kit would effectively comfort the worrisome souls who were either intimidated by the numerous details of the planning process or quite appropriately concerned about safety, liability, and security. The result of those efforts recently became its very own project, Share Starter, which has now hosted a handful of tool library incubator sessions as well as developed a free starter kit.

West Seattle Fixers and Makers at the 2012 Seattle Maker Faire

The West Seattle Fixers and Makers, which meets Thursday nights twice a month at the West Seattle Tool Library, will be exhibiting at the 2012 Seattle Mini Maker Faire, held Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3 at the Seattle Center. The Faire, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, will host 50 maker exhibits, workshops and hands-on activities for all ages.

The West Seattle Fixers and Makers will be displaying some of its work at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire, including wood carvings, paddles, a canoe, recycled material sculptures and unique appliances that have been repaired by the fixers’ collective. The exhibit will educate the public on the valuable resource and creative potential the West Seattle Tool Library and Fixers and Makers provide.

In addition to the displays, the group will have a few activities for visitors to participate in during the event such as making their own mini sewing or tool kit and taking apart broken tools and trying to diagnose why it doesn’t work.

West Seattle Fixers and Makers founder Greg Kono has enjoyed making things for as long as he can remember and learned at a young age from his parents and grandparents the importance of repairing and maintaining the things he owns.

“I often get as much pleasure from tearing things apart, fixing and putting them back together as I do from creating something new. I joined the West Seattle Tool Library and formed the West Seattle Fixers and Makers to share some of my knowledge and be more involved with my community. It has been inspiring to be around others who are passionate around similar interests,” Kono said.

Known by names such as fixer’s collectives, repair cafes and hacker spaces, such groups are popping up all over the United States and Europe as a way to combat a throwaway culture, reduce waste, save money and build community.

 

Now Accepting Donations for our Reusable Dish Collection

Sustainable West Seattle is excited to announce that we are creating a reusable dish collection.  Our goal is to create a large collection that can be used for events, like parties, so that disposables will not need to be used.  We are currently accepting donations of mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses.  Donations must be in good condition and not have any chips or sharp edges.  Our current goal is to collect 100 mugs, drinking glasses and wine glasses.

Donations can be left at the following locations:

  • West Seattle Tool Library – 4408 Delridge Way Southwest  – Thursdays from 6-9pm, Saturdays from 9am-2pm and Sundays from 1-5pm
  • Sustainable West Seattle Table at the West Seattle Farmers Market on April 15th and May 6th
  • Sustainable West Seattle April Community Forum on April 16th from 7-9pm at the West Seattle Senior Center – 4217 Southwest Oregon Street
  • Think Outside the Car Event on Saturday, April 28th from 10am-2pm at Westside School Playground – 34th and Holden Street

After the collection has been established, we hope to lend it out to other groups in West Seattle to reduce the amount of disposables used in West Seattle.

Tool Library Offers Bike Repair/ Fixers’ Collective

West Seattle Spokespeople have been sponsoring free, minor bike repair to anyone and everyone at the Fixers’ Collective Meeting on the first Thursday of every month. Some of the best volunteer mechanics in our area are there to fix flats, lube chains, repair brakes and do other minor bicycle repairs.

Seattle Fixers’ Collective

In the broadest sense, a Fixers’ Collective is a group of folks who love to fix and mend things, which could be any old thing from broken blenders to ripped sweaters to antique dentist drills. Take it apart, put it back together, figure out how it works, refuse to throw it away, and get to know others who do the same!  What the collective works on depends entirely on who shows up but you can be rest assured that there will be plenty of creativity involved.

So feel free to stop by The Community Workshop next to The Tool Library to share your passion for fixing and mending or simply to check out some of the cool projects that walk through our door.

If you’d still like to learn a little more about Fixers’ Collectives before you decide to show up, you might want to check out the Collective in Brooklyn, which we figure pretty much started it all: http://bit.ly/iisQsX

The Tool Library Presents: The Work in Progress Series

The Work in Progress Series:
How to Install Cork Flooring
Saturday, February 25th, 9am-5pm
3108 SW Webster Street

Sometimes it’s just not enough to work on a sample project in a classroom.  It’s often more satifying to learn your skills while actually working on a project that’ll be around for years to come.  So, as the first installment of our new Work in Progress Series, we’ll be teaming up with Mighty House Construction to offer a hands-on workshop on how to install click-together, cork flooring.

Participants will learn how to:

· Demo properly;
· Prep the floor;
· Plan your work;
· Layout and measure efficiently;
· Choose your tools and power tool use/safety;
· Install according to best practices; and
· Replace base trim (as time allows)

The hands-on work of the participants will be showcased as one part of the sustainable remodel of the West Seattle residence during the NW EcoBuilding Guild’s Seattle Green Home Tour, April 21-22, 10am-4pm.

Workshop is limited to 6 participants. Lunch will be served.
Suggested Donation to WSTL: $35
Register Today!

Tool Library Offers “Handywoman for the Home: Basic Tiling”

Basic Tiling for the Home
February 23rd,7-9 PM
Instructor: Susan Barnes of AmyWorks.com
Improve the value of your bathroom or kitchen. Learn to select the best tile for your project, prepare and install the tile and then grout to finish the job. You will learn the tools needed for the job and gain hands-on experience on how to use them.
Register Here!

While this is a women-only workshop, The Tool Library plans to offer a similar class to the general public (fellas included) later this spring.