Massive garage sale at Ballard Tool Library this weekend

Ballard’s Tool Library is hosting its first ever garage sale this Sunday, Sept. 23 from noon to 5pm at their headquarters, 7549B 15th Ave NW.

“Fill out your tool collection while supporting Sustainable Ballard at the same time,” the organizers write. “We’ll have circular saws, chop saws, drills, hammers, wrenches, and more.” Prices should range between $1 and $5 on many items.

Also, a heads up: the tool library recently changed their hours to help accommodate people who want to work on projects over the weekend. They’ll keep their Tuesday/Thursday hours (5 to 8pm) but now will also be open on Saturdays from 9am to 11am and Sundays, 2pm to 5pm.

They’re also looking for some help; email to learn how to become a tool librarian or substitute tool librarian.


Have an upcoming project? The new Ballard Tool Library can help

Thanks to the hard work of Sustainable Ballard volunteers, the brand new Ballard Tool Library has opened its doors on 15th Ave. NW near NW 77th St.

Similar to a book library, you pay a small suggested fee, sign a waiver and check out the tools you need for any project at hand. The library has all the usual drills, saws and hand tools, but is also has things like sewing machines, juicers and compost aerators.

This is a bit of a “soft launch” — the official grand opening is planned for next Sunday, March 11th — but the response so far has been great, says Sustainable Ballard President Jenny Heins.

“We have had a lot more people drop in to donate tools than to borrow them,” she told My Ballard. “Now that we have finally found a location, we have gotten about 1,000 tools donated. The majority have come from overstock in other local tool libraries. Seattleites are a very sharing people.”

At the grand opening on March 11th from 12-5 p.m., the Ballard Tool Library will offer snacks, drinks and information on how to become a member and volunteer. If you come before 3 p.m., you can participate in tool demonstrations and lessons.

Located at 7549B 15th Ave NW, the tool library is currently open three days a week: Sunday 12-5 p.m., Tuesday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Thursday 6-8 p.m. More details here.

Volunteer for Ballard Sunday Dinners

Sustainable Ballard and a group of local churches are looking for additional volunteers for their Ballard Sunday Dinners at Ballard First Lutheran Church, which offer weekly hot meals to homeless neighbors.

Volunteers are responsible for preparing and serving meals or helping with clean-up. The set-up shifts are generally three to four hours, and usually start at 2pm, while clean-up shifts are a bit shorter and start around 5pm. To sign up for a volunteer shift, contact Megan.

According to Sustainable Ballard, Sunday evenings were the only time in the week that a seated, indoor dinner had not been offered in Ballard, so the organization grouped up with five Ballard churches to offer the weekly meals. Participating church communities provide the meals and fundraising separately for the food, while Sustainable Ballard helps recruit additional volunteers.

“If you’d like to know more about how it works before volunteering, please join us for a meal,” Sustainable Ballard states on their website.  “Come eat a healthy meal, get to know some of  your neighbors.”

Ballard’s Edible Garden Tour is coming up

Ballard’s popular Edible Garden Tour is on July 1, offering residents a chance to check out their neighbor’s gardens and learn about permaculture and growing techniques.

The tour will visit over 20 gardens, including the Labateyah Youth Home, (9010 13th Ave NW), which received a grant from the city to create new gardening beds. Fred Miller, a volunteer gardener, will be on hand to explain how to build a hugel, which is a no-dig raised bed, and other permaculture design techniques.

One gardener will be bottling hard cider from his home press, and another will share his plans for building a raised bed. The tour will include creative planting strips, chicken coops, beekeeping methods and “creative edibles from fruit trees to berries to veggies galore,” Margaret Wetter from Sustainable Ballard tells us.

The tour will be Saturday, July 1, from 10am to 3pm.  “Put on your walking shoes or hop on your bike, unicycle or skateboard and head on over to Kirke Park, 7028 9th Ave NW on the day of the tour to buy your ticket and map,” Wetter says.

Ballard and Wallingford crowned winners for Seattle Think Green Challenge


Neighbors in Seattle’s Northwest neighborhoods came together over the last six months to waste less and recycle more as part of Waste Management’s Think Green Reuse and Recycling Challenge.

The Northwest region, led by efforts from organizations such as the Wallingford Community Council and Sustainable Ballard, hosted the most activities during two months of the challenge, securing them a grant of $3,000 which will go towards projects to benefit the region conducted by local non-profits.

The Seattle neighborhoods held Goodwill and polystyrene foam collection events, and provided containers and signage for recycling and yard and food waste collection in public areas.

Residents in Seattle who have Waste Management as their service provider for recycling, composting and garbage were given the chance to win big for their community and the planet through either waste reduction activities or community education and involvement.

To learn more, go to or contact Waste Management at

Sustainable Ballard to host Meaningful Movies event this Sunday

The latest offering in Sustainable Ballard’s Meaningful Movies series is set for this Sunday, November 20, from 5 p.m. at Royal Drummer Cafe (6420 24th Ave NW).

The film No Impact Man explores the question of what it can take to really live eco-effectively.

The film explores the story of Colin Beavan who swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, became a bicycle nut, and tried to save the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife along for the ride.

Together the family attempted to make zero impact on the environment while living right in the heart of Manhattan, and this is the sensational, funny, and consciousness-raising story of how they did it.

With No Impact Man, Beavan found that no-impact living is worthwhile –- and richer, fuller, and more satisfying in the bargain.

Click here to watch the trailer.

A suggested donation of $5 is gratefully accepted to help offset event costs.

Sustainable Ballard enters team in EcoChallenge

The folks at Sustainable Ballard are putting out the call to locals looking to live more sustainably and make a difference.

Sustainable Ballard has a team in this year’s NW Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge and they are inviting locals to join.

What is the EcoChallenge you may ask? Every October, NWEI challenges you to choose one action to reduce your impact and stick with it for two weeks. You pick a category — water, trash, energy, food, transportation or civic engagement — and set a goal that stretches your comfort zone and makes a difference for you and the planet.

Why take the EcoChallenge? The EcoChallenge is an opportunity to change your life for good. Common wisdom says it takes two weeks to change a habit: if you can stick with a new behavior for 14 days in a row, you’re a lot more likely to keep it up forever. EcoChallengers share their progress online and earn points for succeeding. The combination of collective inspiration, camaraderie and friendly competition makes change a little easier — and a lot more fun.

Examples of EcoChallenges that have been undertaken include saving waster by taking shorter showers, taking public transport and not using your car and cutting down household trash.

Register today and join your neighbors on the Sustainable Ballard team who are taking action on behalf of the Earth!

Sustainable Ballard presents Meaningful Movies night


The newt offering of Sustainable Ballard’s Meaningful Movies series is set for this Sunday, September 25, from 5 p.m. at Royal Drummer Cafe (6420 24th Ave NW).

The film Poverty, Inc explores the big business in fighting poverty and who profits the most.

“I see multiple colonial governors,” says Ghanaian software entrepreneur Herman Chinery-Hesse of the international development establishment. “We are held captive by the donor community.”

Check out the film description below:

Click here to watch the trailer.

Screening is free; donations are gladly accepted to help offset costs.

Sustainable Ballard Festival set for this Saturday


The 13th annual Sustainable Ballard Festival is on this Saturday, August 27, at Ballard Commons Park (5701 22nd Ave NW).

This year, the popular eclectic, artsy and earthy festival is coinciding with the local Seattle Summer Parkways event.

“When you join this group of Ballard neighbors at Ballard Commons Park, you’ll encounter creativity and community while learning about daily practices and big steps towards more sustainable living,” say event organizers.

Sustainable Ballard has decided to choose People Power as this year’s festival theme, due to the uncertainty about our nation’s leadership.

“This year’s festival theme is a reminder of what is still possible locally and as a model for all communities,” says event organizers.

The Mayor is expected to kick off the festival with a bike parade organized by Seattle Summer Parkways.

The event will also include a creation station for bubble wands, musical instruments and bottlecap flowers. Skateboard lessons will also be on the agenda as will a family bike expo, goats and chickens in the urban farm zone and live music on the solar powered stage.

Food and beverages will also be on offer in addition to a Tea Garden presented by Miro Tea.

Volunteers are still needed for the event, if you are interested email or click here.

Seattle Summer Parkways event set for Saturday

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The second of three Seattle Summer Parkways events is happening right here in Ballard this Saturday, August 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SDOT is partnering with the Sustainable Ballard Festival, Seattle Parks and Recreation and dozens of community partners to bring safe streets and sunny fun to the ‘hood. Check out the Ballard event route in the above map.

There’ll be live music, food trucks, free ice cream from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. from CityScoop (at Ballard Avenue and 22nd NW), face-painting, a kids-friendly climbing wall and activities and games.

This Summer Parkways route highlights some of the beautiful natural areas and vibrant neighborhoods located in Ballard, such as Ballard Commons Park, Ballard Corners Park, Salmon Bay Park, Loyal Heights Community Center, Sunset Hill Park, Bergen Place Park and the myriad shops and businesses along Ballard Avenue. Check out the event route on the map below:

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Seattle Summer Parkways are hosted by the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation, and transform streets into open-street “parkways” where people can bike, play, walk, run and experience neighborhoods in unique and inviting ways.

The event team is still in need of volunteers for Saturday’s event. Locals can register to volunteer online.

Click here to find out more information about the event.