How about we start local tool share “libraries”? Instead of books, let’s share tools. So instead of everyone being consumers and having their own lawn mowers, why not share them?
I bet there are tools in your shed gathering dust, rarely used, taking up space, going rusty, costing you money.
I bet there are many families, especially new ones, who do not have the tools to repair things themselves, so are locked into a cycle of consumerism, trying to break free by buying the tools they need. Well, let’s share! You might not like to lend tools out to everyone – so you need a way to keep track of who has what.
Freecycle, my local library, lift share schemes, hospitality and couchsurfing websites … they are all good ideas … so let’s go one better. Neighbours do it a bit and often fall out over it, because it is not organised. Business does it and keeps costs / cashflow in check. Farmers share combine harvesters. Why not lawn mowers?
How much time does a lawn mower spend being used and how much does it just clutter up your shed? What about bulky ladders? The list is huge, if you want it to be. A simple website can keep track of who owns tools, who borrowed them, when and when due back – and the owner can have the right to recall a tool at anytime they need. repairs are paid for.
We don’t need to pay tool hire firms all the time – and anyway, that can involve a journey into town to collect, when there will be neighbours nearer with sheds full of under used stuff. Start to share and help each other out! Reduce your personal clutter and consumption. Get quality tools that will last, instead of cheap plastic rubbish!
Don’t look at the problems – look at the solutions – and the world will be changed. Start small, in local groups. Next thing you know, your neighbours will be helping you out. If you think everyone wants to use your tools at the same time – I say that is the making of a community and a picnic or barbeque. In reality, I bet your tools are not doing much at all.
Who is with me on this?
News update – I have just discovered The Freeconomy Community website which is doing exactly this, go to www.justfortheloveofit.org and join now and start a local group! Let me know if you are in my area.
And whilst I am on the subject of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – the old mantra of the environmental movement which spawned sites like Freecycle and Freeuseit, and I suppose they led to Freeconomy, (plus the Virtual tag giving us vskips, etc) … the drive towards Zero Waste means more “re”s need to become popular:
All that “stuff” has got to be found good uses – and that is going to require creativity, exactly that which has been degraded (if not lost) by the consumerist capitalism of this affluenza diseased society. Look to the arts, the odd-balls and the favelas of poverty to see lateral thinking at work.
And a weed is not a weed – if it is useful (edible, fibre, medicine, dye etc), maybe even beautiful and prefers growing where your imported and pampered plants struggle (aided by herbicides to kill the “weed” and plump up the profits of Monsanto, et al … let the natural (local) plant grow! Nettles, thistles, dock weed? OK – this is going to be another blog, on wild foods, and there I’ll write about salmonberry and Knotweed, rabbits and squirrels. Not now.
* Picture courtesy of GregPC