Back in 2011, Time Magazine published an brief little article entitled “Today’s Smart Choice: Don’t Own. Share“. [LINK]. We’d recommend that you go and read it but the basic gist of the article is that we all own too much stuff. It’s not hard to understand why. The whole premise of western governments for most of the last 70 years (typically since the end of the second world war) is to promote the idea that we should all buy “stuff” to grow the economy. This concept might have worked well for a few years but the usefulness of capitalism is now well and truly over. The article goes on to say that sharing the items we own with others in a collaborative way is good for humanity. I’m pretty sure that if that article had been written today it would have been more vociferous in it’s criticism of capitalism and would have explicitly discussed the environmental consequences of manufacturing this CRUD* that we don’t use.
* CRUD = Collections of Residual and Unwanted Debris
There a gazillions of articles discussing why the sharing economy is a considerable force for good (see for yourself) but here is a quick rundown for those of you that want to stay safe and sound here on toolshare.org.uk:
On balance, it’s cheaper to borrow something than it is to buy it.
You can donate things you don’t need to other people that do.
You don’t need as much space.
It’s less wasteful (and so good for the planet).
It’s good for society as you meet other people to share tools, knowledge and skills.