My mind boggles about the number of occasional use items we all own.
Power drills for the 3x a year we’ll use them.
In Boulder, a ton of people have snow blowers for the 7 times a year we get to snow blow.
SO MANY TOOLS in the garage that are used once and then probably never again.
Cars that sit unused for days.
Books that we read once and then leave on the shelf.
Toys kids lose interest in that remain unloved in the toy box.
Driving solo from Boulder to Eldora to fill up an overflowing parking lot.
There has to be a better way and good news, there is!
Resource Central’s Tool Library hosts a centralized inventory of more than 300 hand, electric, and gas-powered tools. In other words, if you need a tool, you can just go and rent it for as long as you need it. It’s lower cost than buying and means that instead of sitting unused at your house, when you’re not using it, someone else can : )
Home Depot also offers a great tool rental program.
Snow Blow your Neighborhood
While not everyone needs to snow blow, this is simply an example of how neighborhoods can get together to share resources. Why not buy a snow blower between you and each time it snows, someone has a turn to snow blow the entire neighborhood?
In Boulder we’re lucky enough to have an amazing car sharing club called Colorado Car Share. There are cars placed all over Boulder and you can book them online for as little as an hour. You simply use the fob they send you when you sign up to unlock the car and drive away. It is SO SIMPLE. Nude Foods Market uses them when we have extra deliveries to make or something big to pick up. They have lots of electric vehicles and a ton of different sizes to choose from.
You save on insurance, maintenance and the waste of your car sitting unused when you don’t need it.
Like Airbnb for cars. You post your car and people can rent it.
Lyft / Uber
Consider getting rid of your car entirely and just using Lyft and Uber. I think you might be surprised that it can cost less than owning your own car! And you’re basically being chauffeur driven!
Read this account of someone who ditched their car in favor of these ride sharing services.
These are fun little scooters placed all over town. You can pick one up almost anywhere and simply take it to where you want to go and snap a photo of it when you’re done. To unlock a Lime-S, simply scan the QR code located on the handlebars or the baseboard using the Lime app.
B-Cycle is Boulder’s own bike sharing service and tons of other cities around the world have these. These bikes have dedicated stations all over town where you can pick up a bike then you simply return them to another station. This makes it slightly less flexible than Lime but a great option if you live near a station!
The Library (and Libby)
My kids LOVE going to the library to choose a book. It makes an event of it rather than them just picking up a book off the shelf at home.
And if you haven’t heard of Libby then I am about to blow your mind….
Libby is an app that allows you to borrow digital and audiobooks from your local library right to your cell phone or kindle. I use it every single day to listen to an audiobook while going to sleep.
You can even borrow magazines and cookbooks!
Airbnb / VRBO
Although these have now morphed into more official holiday rental property sites, the original idea behind them was people sharing their own homes so that travellers could get more of a locals experience and people could make money renting unused space.
We rent our home on Airbnb and while it’s a TON of work to get it in shape every time, the money is nice and we have made some great connections with our guests.
I mentioned this in another post but it’s worth reiterating here. Instead of buying new toys that your kids will get bored of, subscribe to a toy library. You can get ‘new’ toys whenver you are done with the old ones (when you send them back.)
OR set up your own local Toy Sharing community, I’ve got to admit I’m kind of tempted…….!
Make a list of how you can use the sharing economy even more than you likely already are.
Register for at least one of them!