Sharing: An Answer to Consumerism?

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  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, 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  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!

If so, please join thousands of others who receive exclusive weekly online recaps & tips, and get a FREE COPY of my eBook, The Greening of Gavin - My First Year of Living Sustainably.


TGoG 124 – Sustainable Living with Emma Sutcliffe

Listen to the Episode Below (00:21:03)

Today I am inviting you into our dining room or inner sanctum if you like, for a candid lunch-time chat with me, Kim, and Emma Sutcliffe.   There’s nothing quite like having lunch with like minded-people and chatting about sustainable living.

Not much more to say about this episode except to pour yourself a cuppa, grab a homemade scone and enjoy this weeks show.

Kim and Gavin

Also if you like the show, use the iTunes button under the player and leave a rating and a review.  We love to hear what our listeners think about our show.  Alternatively, you can leave feedback via comment if you don’t have an iTunes account.

Until next episode, keep it green!

2 Fruit Marmalade

I remember eating 2 Fruit Marmalade when I was a kid.  I also remember not liking it very much as it was always too tart and bitter. I can’t remember who in the family used to make it, but something was not quite right with either my fledgling palate or the recipe.  It was probably my young taste buds as all the adults seems to love it!

Now Kim raves about this brand of Marmalade she used to eat in the UK (Roses), and wanted to know if we could make our own.  I mentioned to her that we made some a while back and I was the only one that ate it, and asked if she wanted to learn how to make a 2 fruit marmalade with the excess citrus we had on the citrus trees that we grow in pots.

She was very excited at the prospect, so here is the recipe and method I taught her yesterday.  The one vital piece of equipment you’ll need, and may already have, is a bread maker.  Yes friends, we are making 2 Fruit Marmalade in a bread maker!  Just make sure it has a jam setting before you start making this delicious preserve (most of them do these days).

2 Fruit Marmalade

2 Fruit Marmalade


  • 250 gm sliced Navel Oranges
  • 250 gm sliced Tahitian Limes
  • 1 and 2/3 cups of white sugar
  • 1 level Tablespoon Classic Pectin


1.  Pick your fruit from your tree.  Wash fruit in your sink, half full of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar added.  This will help remove any dirt, bacteria, or wax (if commercially bought).  Dry the fruit with a tea towel.

Washing citrus for 2 fruit marmalade

2.  Slice the oranges thinly, then cut in half.  They should be half-moon shaped.  Remove any seeds that may be present as well as large chunks of the centre pith.

Sliced oranges for 2 fruit marmalade

3.  Slice the limes and cut in half.  You will notice that my limes are slightly yellow.  Well it is a little know fact that limes do indeed turn from green to yellow when they are ripe!

Sliced Limes for 2 fruit Marmalade

4.  Add your limes into the bread maker pan then add the sugar.

2 Fruit Marmalade

5.  Then add the pectin.  We used classic pectin that has no added sugar, unlike Jamsetta.  Plus you can reuse the container it comes in when empty!

Add the Pectin to 2 fruit Marmalade

6.  Then place the pan into the bread maker as per your machines instructions.


7.  Set the bread maker to the jam setting, and press start.

Jam setting for 2 fruit marmalade

8.  In the mean time, whilst the 2 Fruit Marmalade is cooking, wash and rinse some jars and lids.  We found that each batch fit perfectly into two 300 gm Salsa jars (empty of course).  Make sure the lids are in good condition with no sign of rust or stained plastic seal in the inside.  If in doubt, order in some new lids.  If you don’t have all the gear you need, you can find preserving equipment and supplies in our online shop.

9.  Place the still wet jars upside down on a baking tray, and place in a preheated oven at 120°C (250°F) for 20 minutes.  This sterilize the jars.  To sterilize the lids, place them in a Pyrex jug and pour in boiling water and sit for 5 minutes.

Sterilized Jars

10.  Once the 2 Fruit Marmalade is cooked, pour it into hot jars.  Wipe any spills with a clean damp tea towel and seal the lids on tight.  We use the lids that have pop buttons so we can ensure we have a vacuum seal.  As the jars and contents cool, the button pops in.  For any jars that didn’t seal correctly, store in the fridge and eat that jar first.

2 Fruit Marmalade

For the remainder, wipe clean with a clean damp cloth, and store in a cool dark pantry until ready to consume.  Will keep for at least 12 months.

Now there is a variation on this recipe that we also tried.  In the above photo, you will note that two of the bottom jars of marmalade are a slightly different colour (bottom centre and right).  Well they are actually 100% Lime Marmalade.  To make this, just use 500 gm (1.1 lbs) of fresh limes instead of the combination of oranges and limes.  This makes a more tart Marmalade, which is a delicious alternative.

So there you have it.  2 Fruit Marmalade, made with citrus grown here on our suburban food farm!

I am so glad my taste buds matured.  This marmalade is amazing.