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Sustainability Swap Ideas: Websites

Sustainability Swap Ideas and Other Websites






For general Sustainability Swaps, you can leave it open for the types of things participants can bring. You might consider some best practices like the suggestions below.


Accepted & Non-accepted items

Please only bring small household items (like knickknacks, kitchenware, etc.) that are clean, usable, functional and would be donatable at the end, as well as small electronic items to be recycled. Keep in mind that your colleagues will be taking care of any items that you leave behind – be kind! If you are unsure if something is allowed at the event, please contact one of the organizers to check before bringing it. 

Examples of items you CAN bring (not exhaustive): 

  • Office supplies 

  • Kitchenware 

  • Media (CDs, DVDs, records, books, etc.) 

  • Small plants 

  • Party supplies, greeting cards, wrapping paper, gift bags, etc. 

  • Crafting items (yarn, thread, paper, etc.) 

  • Small tools (not power tools) 

  • Collectibles, antiques, knickknacks, and other giftware 

  • Small electronics for recycling 

  • Children’s clothing, toys, accessories 

  • Games and puzzles 

  • Boxes and/or shopping totes for transport later (encouraged) 

Examples of things NOT to bring (not exhaustive):  

  • Broken, hazardous, polluting, or dangerous items 

  • Expired or open personal care items, cosmetics, and cleaners 

  • Expired or open food 

  • Clothing (except children’s clothing) and jewelry 

  • Large items like furniture, exercise equipment, building material, etc. 

  • Traditional recyclables like cardboard, glass bottles, etc. 


Selected Websites

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
United States Department of Agriculture library specializing in sustainable, organic, low-input, biodynamic, and regenerative methods of agriculture.
American Farmland Trust
Permanently protects American farmland by uniting farmers, environmentalists, and policymakers.
Community Supported Agriculture
Offers an explicit definition of a CSA, with informative links.
Local Harvest
Find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
Regional Farm and Food Project
Promotes earth friendly agriculture, community based food systems and nutritious, farm fresh local foods. Site provides an excellent list of Resources.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
National alliance of farm, rural development, and conservation groups that organized in 1988 to affect federal agriculture policy. NSAC member groups advance common positions to support small and mid-size family farms, protect natural resources, promote healthy rural communities, and provide nutritious and healthy food to consumers.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (also known as ATTRA)
Updated news regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming, events, and funding opportunities. Features in-depth publications on production practices, alternative crop and livestock enterprises, innovative marketing, organic certification, and highlights of local, regional, and federal activities.

Rodale Institute
Focuses on soil health, food quality, regenerative agriculture education, composting and regional, national and international community development.

Sustainable Food Laboratory
Collaboration of businesses, governments, farm groups and non-governmental organizations to make food systems more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.


Design Centre for Sustainabilityl
Lcated in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at The University of British Columbia, DCS is an academic leader in applying sustainability concepts to the development of land, cities, and community.

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
Aims to accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy, green buildings, and energy efficiency. Produces major events that inspire and motivate large numbers of people to get involved and make a difference. Links organized by energy, buildings, transportion.

Rocky Mountain Institute
Entrepreneurial non profit organization fostering the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous, and life-sustaining. They collaborate with business, civil society, and governments to design integrative solutions that create true wealth.

Sustainability Institute
Think tank which conducts stakeholder-based systems analysis and change projects through consulting, research, workshops, and facilitated systems projects, services, publications, and other resources.



Build it Solar
Plans, tools and information  to do  renewable energy and conservation projects. Hundreds of projects -- from changing a light bulb to building a solar home. Design information and tools  for building renewable energy projects. An Experimental section for backyard inventors. Nothing For Sale here -- just free ideas, plans, and information.

Development Center for Appropriate Technology
Non profit that works to enhance the health of the planet and our communities by promoting a shift to sustainable construction and development through leadership, strategic relationships, and education.

Ecological Building Network
Non profit, international association of builders, engineers, architects, academics, and developers committed to promoting intelligent building methods and materials for a sustainable future. Includes access to articles, papers, conference proceedings, and related events.

Energy and Environmental Issues in the Building Sector
Links to Green Building Policies Network, a database for Sustainable Building Information System, and a tool for assessing and reducing energy-related impact of buildings on interior, local and global environments.

Directory of more than 1,800 environmentally preferable building products with descriptions, manufacturer information, and links to resources.

Humane Metropolis
A collaboration of the Ecological Cities Project and The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The "Humane Metropolis" means urban communities at all scales - metro areas, cities, suburbs, neighborhoods, or blocks.

Malcolm Wells
Useful links for eco friendly housing design. Wells is a seasoned expert in the field.

Sustainable Sites Initiative
Promotes sustainable land development and management practices that apply to sites with and without buildings.

U.S. Green Building Council


Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (B.A.L.L.E.)
Network which supports the growth and development of community-based business, encourages local purchasing by consumers and businesses, creates opportunities for business leaders to network and share best practices, and advocates public policies that strengthen independent local businesses and farms, promote economic equity, and protect the environment.

Co-op America
Non profit organization focused on economic strategies that solve social and environmental problems. Mobilize and educate people as consumers, investors, workers, and business leaders.

Credit Unions
Online directory of credit unions in the U.S. These are non profit, cooperative financial institutions which are owned and controlled by its members. They often pay higher interest rates and charge lower interest on loans.

E.F. Schumacher Society
Educational non profit organization demonstrating that social and environmental sustainability can be achieved by applying the values of human-scale communities and respect for the natural environment to economic issues. Links to events, local currencies, and land trusts.

Holistic Management International
Non profit seeking to restore deteriorating landscapes and the lives of the people dependent on them using practical, low-cost solutions.
New Economics Foundation
Independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. Aims to improve quality of life by promoting innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on economic, environment and social issues.

Permaculture Credit Union
Pools the financial resources of people who believe in the ethics of Permaculture - care of the earth, care of people, and reinvestment of surplus for the betterment of both. They then apply those resources to earth-friendly and socially responsible loans and investments.

Building Better Rural Places
Federal programs for sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation, and community.

Communities Directory
Extensive directory of established and forming communities in the U.S. and abroad. Organized by geography or alphabetically

Ecovillage Network of the Americas
Engages the peoples of the Americas in common effort to join the global transformation towards an ecologically, economically, and culturally sustainable future.

Global Ecovillage Network
Global confederation of people and communities who meet and share their ideas, exchange technologies, develop cultural and educational exchanges, directories and newsletters, and are dedicated to restoring the land and living "sustainable plus" lives by putting more back into the environment than is taken out.

Intentional Communities
Information for seekers of community, existing and forming communities, and other friends of community building.

 Smart Communities Network
Aims to create sustainable communities using green buildings and green development, and the efficient use of energy, land, and finances.

Trust for Public Land
National, non profit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.

Union of Concerned Scientists
Independent non profit alliance of more than 100,000 concerned citizens and scientists. Their mission is to augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Conducts in-depth technical and policy assessments, advises policymakers and program managers, works with businesses, public interest groups, and other organizations, organizes conferences and workshops, publishing books, conference proceedings, and reports, and educates consumers and businesses.

Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology
Accelerates the use of renewable energy by providing credible information, insightful policy analysis, and innovative strategies amid changing energy markets and mounting environmental needs by researching, publishing, and disseminating information, creating policy tools, and hosting highly active, on-line, renewable energy discussion groups.

Consumer Report: Greener Choices
Information on the environmental impact of various consumer products and tips on improving your own usage. Also includes information on recycling,labeling, and rebates for efficient products. Currently features a comparison of alternative fuels, and ways to save money on gas.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Leader in the U.S. Department of Energy's effort to secure an energy future for the nation that is environmentally and economically sustainable.

Renewable Energy Tax Incentives
Summar of Commonwealth tax incentives designed to promote the development and use of renewable energy resources.

Renewable Energy Trust
Seeks to maximize environmental and economic benefits for the Commonwealth’s citizens by pioneering and promoting clean energy technologies and fostering the emergence of sustainable markets for electricity generated from renewable sources. Includes links to the Trust's various programs and activities. Use the Energy Information links for more information about renewable energy and actions you can take.

Conservation Law Foundation
Non profit focused on water, forests, oceans, and issues of smart growth in New England.

Development Center for Appropriate Technology

Environmental Law Institute
Provides information services, advice, publications, training courses, seminars, research programs and policy recommendations to engage and empower environmental leaders the world over. ELI’s audience is leading environmental professionals in government, industry, public interest groups and academia.

Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Describes the State Sustainability Program to help state agencies minimize their environmental impacts of operations and activities, and promote innovative sustainable practices in Massachusetts.

Current guidance, examples, and information resources to aid Federal facilities in developing and maintaining sustainable facilities and helping to develop and promote sustainable practices within their environmental programs or activities. Includes extensive links to related organizations, tools, and policies.

Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme
UNESCO program fostering and promoting social science research. Special attention is given to capacity building and the establishment of a clearing house of knowledge in the field of social science.

Smart Growth Network
Collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, environmental groups, historic preservation organizations, professional organizations, developers, real estate interests, local and state government entities, and government organizations. Boosts the economy, protects the environment, and enhances community vitality.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Examines sustainability and provides links to EPA programs and tools in four key areas: the Built or human-created Environment; Water, Ecosystems and Agriculture; Energy and the Environment; and Materials and Toxics. Links to the programs and tools are organized in three categories: Policies and Programs; Research, Tools and Technologies; and Assessments and Performance Measures.

ETC Group

Dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights. Supports socially responsible developments of technologies useful to the poor and marginalized and it addresses international governance issues and corporate power.

PelicanWeb's Journal of Sustainable Development

Monthly digest related to integral human development, solidarity, sustainability and related global issues. Collects and analyze knowledge on both obstacles and incentives for sustainable development and, specifically, integral human development. Addresses both secular and religious non-violence.
Sustainability Institute

Vermont-based think tank focused on understanding the root causes of unsustainable behavior in complex systems.  Staff includes biologists, writers, social scientists, system dynamics modelers, and facilitators who aim to help restructure systems and shift mindsets that will help move human society toward sustainability.

Center for Clean Air Policy
Independent non profit entity recognized as a world leader in air quality and climate policy since 1985. Seeks to promote and implement innovative solutions to major environmental and energy problems which balance both environmental and economic interests.

Heifer International
Building self reliant communities in developing countries by distributing resources fairly, improving access to education, and preserving the environment.

International Research Development Centre
Collaborates with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

UN Commission on Sustainable Development – Environment Program. A forum for sustainable development within the United Nations system. Established by the UN General Assembly in 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit. Reviews progress on local, national, regional and international levels.

World Resources Institute
Environmental think tank providing objective information and practical proposals for policy and institutional change that will foster environmentally sound, socially equitable development.

Worldwatch Institute
Gateway for interdisciplinary research, global focus, and accessible writing on interactions among key environmental, social, and economic trends. Their work revolves around the transition to an environmentally sustainable and socially just society—and how to achieve it.

Practical Skills/Training
Permaculture Activist
Offers a current listing of upcoming permaculture design courses and a networking directory linking students to teachers and information, homeowners to designers and consultants, and homeseekers to community.

Permaculture International Ltd.
A directory of permaculture design courses offered around the world.

Regenerative Design Institute
Non profit educational organization providing courses and workshops designed to effectively teach the skills necessary to live a more sustainable life on the planet. RDI has evolved out of the Permaculture Institute of Northern California (PINC) which continues to be a key project.