Saturday, 2 February 2019

Let's Create A Sharing World

It really isn't that long ago that we had so much less stuff - we had less gadgets, fewer clothes, minimal (if any) technology and what we did own we used well and kept for a long time   Fast forward to today and I think it would be fair to say that many of us own a good number of things that we rarely use. Now imagine how many of these rarely used things are filling up houses and gardens across the country/world?  Do we really all need to be buying all our own things when we could share so many things with friends and neighbours.  

Sharing is a sustainable way to allow us to still make use all the things we have got used to having but without each of us owning everything: it has such a positive effect on the environment. Sharing means:

  • Fewer raw materials used and less energy needed to produce fewer goods.
  • Less transport of good.
  • Less packaging.
  • Fewer resources ending up in landfill.
  • Money saving ... one of the reasons people state for not making some greener choices is cost. Sharing releases up finances.
  • Building communities. Stronger communities are more likely to want to save their local environment, working together to achieve this.

    Let's make a sharing world

    What can we share?

    Here are just some ways we can share a variety of things - I am sure you could list plenty more.


    I don't mean sharing your every day clothes but there are plenty of other ways clothes can be shared:
    • Hire clothes for a special occasion. It is perfectly acceptable to hire a dinner jacket etc so why not a dress for that special occasion?
    • Swap clothes between friends.
    • Hire baby clothes.

    Large electrical items

    • Washing machines and tumble driers - in many American apartment buildings there is a shared laundry room for all the residents rather than everyone having their own machine.
    • Exercise bikes/equipment.
    • Sewing machines etc etc.
    • Basically any large electrical item you don't use every day or that perhaps you don't use to its full capacity.

    Kitchen stuff

    • Rarely used items such as fondue sets, pasta making machines, ice cream makers, food processors, pressure cookers etc are all ideal for sharing.  Admit it - I bet you have some kitchen equipment you bought, perhaps on a whim, and it sits gathering dust at the back of a cupboard.  If you don't want to get rid of it, that's fine but let others know they can use it too. 
    Then go a step further and cook together:
    • Cook a meal one week with a neighbour or friend and save on fuel costs, washing up and waste.
    • Set up a local bread or cake baking club so the oven is full when you bake and you can share cooking equipment and expertise. You can also buy ingredients in bulk (see below).


    • Group together with others to bulk buy food in larger amounts - this will generally have less packaging and be cheaper per unit.
    • Share Buy One Get One Free Offers with others if you only actually need one of the items on offer.
    • Share unusual or little used ingredients that you can't otherwise buy in small enough amounts for your personal use.


    • If you think one allotment is too much for you, share one.
    • Share bought seeds, seed potatoes, seedlings etc that may otherwise come in amounts too big for you. 
    • Share your own saved seeds, plant cuttings, seedlings and excess plants/produce.
    • Share gardening equipment and tools.
    • If your garden is big enough let others take over a part to grow some veg.

    Books/magazines/games etc

    • Use your local library.
    • Pass reading materials round among your friends and family and place read ones in a local book exchange.
    • Share puzzles and games etc - kids love getting new games but you don't need to always buy new. Share with friends or use a toy library.


    • Join a car pooling scheme and share journeys
    • Electric car sharing schemes - various cities offer electric car sharing schemes in the same manner as city bike sharing schemes such as in London.

    Skills and knowledge

    • And it is not just physival items we can share. Sharing skills means these are not lost and pooling knowledge helps build stronger communities.

    If you cannot find some-one locally to share things with consider joining a Library of Things or a Tool Lending Library

    You may think sharing is going to be a bit of a faff and, yes it may take a bit if organising to begin with, but one you get a routine sorted out it will become second nature.  And remember we constantly tell our children to share, so why do we find it so difficult to share as we get older?  Let's open our homes and gardens and become a sharing world.

    What other ideas do you have of things you can share?

    Just think of all the tings we can share


    1. I'm thinking of getting rid of my car once the new train station near us opens, I can take Peter to work and use his car for the dog park which is an essential trip in this climate #goinggreen

    2. Some amazing ideas! We love our local library and we tend to share the kids clothes between nephews and nieces.

    3. This was fun to read. I have family living near by so we share a lot of our things. My dad has a big garden but we live in a flat, so we share veggie patches etc which saves us money and also gives us some nice family bonding time.

    4. I love this so much! We do a lot of these things already and I'm inspired to do more. We need a thing-sharing library in my town: have a toy library which is well-used, think a sharing one would do great too.

    5. I would love to have a toy library or a library of things in my town! Some great ideas here. Working on creating a repair cafe here with the local Tidy Towns group, to repair stuff and share skills.

    6. Love this post, sharing is definitely the way forward. A friend in Northumberland has just set up a 'Buy Nothing' Facebook group where we can all share, gift and loan items locally. It's going really well. We also have the fantastic Barter Book shop where you get credit for taking in books you no longer need. So much more can be done though, your suggestions are really helpful #GoingGreen