The Carbon Column – Borrow don’t buy

In this article I discuss Library of Things, a social enterprise with a mission to get people borrowing instead of buying

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I moved house over the weekend. I am now in a more central location which means there will be a lot less driving and much more walking.

These changes will help lower my personal carbon footprint and reduce my outgoings. A perfect combination.

In the new house, we want to put our own stamp on it. We want it to be our home. This requires a bit of work which we will need tools and equipment for. Not something I want to be spending much on.

Buying something to use a few times is not sustainable in anyway.

There must be a better way.

I did some searching and came across Library of Things.

Library of Things is a social enterprise that helps people save money and reduce waste by affordably renting out useful items like drills, sound systems and sewing machines from local spaces – and by helping neighbours share practical skills.

It started in 2014 with a 3-month experiment to see if people within a neighbourhood would prefer to rent items instead of buying and wasting them. It would make sense given that £2 billion worth of tools are unused sat on people’s shelves at home.

Since then, Library of Things has grown to a team of 16 and partnered with councils and community organisations in London to bring borrowing options to more people than ever. Raising £370,000 from over 250 investors.

The only problem for myself is that Library of Things only operates in London and Brighton. Not so helpful when I am in the North of England.

Having said that, I think the idea is brilliant and I am looking forward to seeing the growth of Library of Things or other social enterprises and businesses that are focused on helping people be better for the planet whilst saving money.

For now, I will have to borrow from friends and family to turn our house into a home.

If you have any thoughts on this or have come across other sustainably driven business models, I would love to hear from you.

Please email me or find me on LinkedIn.