Do you have a shed full of stuff you just use maybe once a week or less often?  Say, a mower, a set of building tools, specialized plumbing gear such as a ‘snake’, pool cleaning gear and so on? That lawn mower probably cost over $400.  The there’s the whipper snipper, edger, leaf blower etc. etc…the chain saw, hedge clipper, sewing machine, overlocker.  Hmm sounds like a lot!

I just read on another site GreenLivingTips that

“… a wood splitter with a steel head weighing seven pounds … on carbon emissions involved with the production of the steel for the head, that comes to around 7 pounds of carbon dioxide. Then there’s the energy related emissions for the machining of the steel, the creation of the handle, shipping to the store – and it goes on and on. On top of all this are the other environmental impacts associated with the creation and transportation of this item.”

You may use this implement a lot but really, do you need to use it EXCLUSIVELY?

Think about starting a ‘tool’ library. Then perhaps you can start a musical instrument library, a sheet music library and your creativity will inspire you to say, lending specialized cake tins and cooking gear.

Obviously what is needed is a real neighbourhood, trustworthy members in your co-op or sharing group and someone to set up a sharing points system. A membership fee could fund the purchase/repair/maintenance of your equipment.  Any damage could incur additional points.

The way to set it up is along the lines of a baby-sitting club.  Members pay a small startup fee to fund  running costs and each member has something to lend.  A group should sit down and list the equipment the group owns between them and work out a balanced point system per 15 minute period that each piece of gear ‘costs’.  Members trade equipment with points which are then used to borrow other equipment.

How to do it is also carefully explained (but in an American way) at MotherEarthNews.

In this article, members have even banded together to purchase a second car!  This is not hippie craziness, but practical in these economic times.

In the old days, families were strong units and sharing within its walls was commonplace, not even on a formal quid pro quo. When I was a young married mother or two babies, a neighbour lent me a car while she was overseas and I have never forgotten that generous act which got me out of the house.  We need to get back to these basic ideas of sharing in order to reduce manufacturing, planned obsolescence and to reduce the size of houses required to store all our STUFF.

What do you have that you can share?

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