Changing Habits: Borrowing

My family is lucky. We live on a street, in a neighborhood, in a community where it is normal to ask neighbors for help. We care for each other’s dogs, we receive fresh picked produce from backyard gardens and we borrow stuff.

Next time you need a tool for a specific job, check with your neighbors. Chances are they might have what you need. Need a folding table for a party or an inflatable bed for guests a couple of times a year? Send a quick message out to your friends. Borrowing something you need instead of buying it new is not only good for the planet; it could be an opportunity to get to know your neighbors. When we know each other a little better, we are more willing to watch out for each other. Borrowing versus buying new cultivates sharing and caring in the neighborhood.

Of course, not everyone is in a position to borrow from neighbors. Here are some other ideas to promote borrowing and lending :

·         Email or Facebook message your friends to see if they might have what you need. This is easy and painless.

·         Check message boards at your workplace or church for people who might have what you need to borrow.

·         Post your borrowing needs on the locally focused Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods. Regency has a group with over 650 neighbors in the network, and surrounding communities all seem to be represented as well. Use the “General” or “Classifieds” section to announce your ISO (In Search Of) items.

·         And when you find yourself owning something you really will never use again, try listing it as a “curb alert” on Craigslist, Freecycle it, donate it, or post it as a “free item” on Nextdoor. Try all of these before you put it in your trash bin to be taken to the landfill.

The future holds exciting possibilities . . .  I recently read that there is a new type of business that makes it easy to borrow or rent handy items instead of purchase them new.

Check out what’s going on in Canada:

And Europe: &

Closer to home, there is a great place in Ashville, NC that serves the community with a tool library: