buy when you can borrow?

Meriel Lenfestey from borrowing site ecomodo.com explains the thinking behind the venture

Sitting on a train one day, watching all the gardens pass by, I was pondering a woodworking challenge for the weekend. It was one of those jobs which would take 30 minutes with the right tool and a day without. Needless to say, I didn’t have the right tool.

Buying it was tempting but seemed expensive and wasteful. I looked at the sheds at the end of all those gardens and wondered if my tool was in one. The answer was almost certainly yes. I thought how useful it would be to ‘see into’ the sheds, cupboards, lofts and even minds of all my neighbours, friends and colleagues. How much money I could save, how much better for the environment and how much richer my life could be. Ecomodo was born.

The Daily Telegraph told us that Britain is a nation of hoarders, sitting on £31bn of goods we never use, and our own research told us all about the challenges we faced in encouraging people to stop hoarding and start lending.

Two years and a lot of intense design and build activity later, ecomodo.com was launched. The site lets you lend and borrow everyday objects, skills and spaces with other people around you. You can choose to lend for free, for a fee or for charity and we facilitate the transaction to make good returns for all.

Create a lending circle for your street, neighbourhood, school, workplace or community group and pool your assets. Use your circles to control who can borrow your stuff and have a deposit taken or include insurance for extra peace of mind.

Here’s some examples of things you can lend or borrow...

Doing up a house: drill, wallpaper stripper, work-mate, carpentry, step ladder, hedge cutter

Having people to stay: inflatable mattress, cot, high chair, wii controllers, spare bike, golf clubs

Having a special occasion: chairs, shoes, a venue, dress, flower arrangements, tuxedo

Going on holiday: tent, camcorder, travel cot, ski clothes, underwater camera, mosquito net

With the consumption of consumer goods (not including food and cars) accounting for 12% of London’s carbon footprint (Sustainable Development Commission Nov. 2009), there's never been a better time to open up our personal treasure troves.

So if you want a new way to reduce your emissions and help out your community, join the marketplace of good returns at ecomodo.com

posted by Meriel Lenfestey