Here’s a thought. When it comes to all the stuff that you have in your home have a think about how often you use it. Is is every day, is it once a week, or every couple of months?
Wouldn’t it be more logical to start sharing, borrowing, or hiring some of the more less frequently utilised things you have around your home. It would certainly be less resource intense and better for the environment!
Take tools for example. When I needed a nail gun to build my picket fence around my front orchard, I didn’t go out and buy one, I simply went down the tool shop and hired one with a compressor. Once I was finished with it, I gave it back. It was so much cheaper than getting my own.
Same goes for when I needed an impact drill to put some of the garden beds together. I asked my friend Jake over who had all these tools already and paid him in home-brew beer. In fact he actually helped put the beds together, because I wasn’t sure how to use it.
There was another time when we wanted to go on a family trip. I had too many people to carry in my Honda Civic Hybrid, so I hired a larger people mover for the weekend. I knew that I didn’t need that sized car all the time, so hiring was the way to go for this one-off need.
Another example are trailers. You know, the ones that you tow behind your car and use once in a blue moon. Not only that, they take up valuable growing space in one’s backyard. Hiring would be the logical solution as long as you didn’t have to drive a country mile to find one.
So why do people buy stuff they only use every so often or only once in its lifetime. Well, let me take a quote from a very interesting documentary titled Zeitgeist: Moving Forward at around the 1:41:20 mark.
Many forget that it’s isn’t the good that they want, it is the purpose of that good. When we realise that the purpose of the good is only as important as its utility we see that external restriction or what we might today call ownership is extremely wasteful and environmentally illogical in a fundamental economic sense.
As Spock would say, its illogical Captain!
So what’s the solution?
Well there are a few solutions that you could take to avoid ownership of a seldom used item.
You could even go car-less if you live in larger cities. For instance you could use a car share scheme like www.carnextdoor.com.au. It’s a neighbourhood car sharing scheme available in Sydney and Melbourne which is much cheaper than owning a car. There is even a cool app that helps you locate cars near you!
Why not hire tools and equipment from a reputable hire company or even ask you friends and neighbours if they have the tools you need. At least with neighbours you can trade things for the use.
Or you could check out a site like www.networkhire.net, a not for profit business who is trying to reduce the amount of wastage and blatant giving-in to consumerism. You can even put your own seldom used item on the site and make a bit of money from home!
What about food? Got too much of a single fruit or veggie? Why not try using a site like www.localharvest.org.au. It has a map of other people like you who has too much produce and wants to either give it away or swap it for something else.
Got a spare room that you are not using? Why not list it on AirBnB? You might just enjoy the company and get a steady income stream in the process.
Too many clothes in the wardrobe, and want a new look? Why not check out the Clothing Exchange. You can take some of your clothes to an event and swap for new albeit slightly used ones, or swap online. Its a great way to freshen up your style!
You could take it one step further and join the Community Exchange System. It’s a community-based exchange system that provides the means for its users to exchange their goods and services, both locally and remotely. There’s sure to be one near you. You can even trade time and effort in return for goods without using money!
These are only a few suggestions, so why not chime in with some more in the comments section below. I’m sure there are many more ways of sharing that I have missed!