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What's mine is yours

How often do we end up buying something we only need to use once or twice?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just borrow it from a neighbour? Problem is most  of us don’t know our neighbours well enough to ask if we even know them at all . But that’s where Friends with Things steps in   – it’s a place where you can borrow and share things with your neighbours  for free and you can share more than just ‘things’, you can also share your time, expertise or  knowledge.

This sharing often leads to a connection with your neighbours and chance at making new friends. Iit can really help bring back that  sense of neighbourhood that’s so often missing from apartment complexes, city living and suburban sprawl. It’s a small way we can help each other and start to make our communities the friendlier, safer happier places we’d all like to live in.

Sharing like this is called ‘collaborative consumption’ – and it has another really important benefit: the more we share the less we consume, so there’s a huge environmental benefit. If you think that about it, our houses are full of things we only ever use now and again – from power drills, to camping gear; consider the huge environmental cost of manufacturing them, the fossil fuel  and energy used in moving them around the world – not to mention the cost of buying them.

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rodgers authors of “What’s mine is YOURs” give us this startling statistic about the household drill –  the average power drill is used between 7 and 13 minutes over its entire lifetime and there are around 50 million drills currently sitting idle in people’s homes today.

With Friends with Things you don’t have to buy it, you can borrow it instead. It’s a small, simple and very effective way of doing something positive for the environment.

Best of all Friends with Things is free and always will be – it’s community based and run by volunteers. It’s also really easy to use, if you’re on-line –  you can be sharing in under a minute.

Every time someone borrows something of mine I make a new friend. I think about how many times that’s happening around Australia each week because of the site – that’s a lot of people making new friends, and doing their little bit for the environment at the same time.

Friends with Things has shown me one thing – people are more reliable, honest and trustworthy than we give them credit for. In all the time I’ve been doing this I’ve not had one bad experience. When you read the papers or watch the news on TV it’s easy to believe the worst about people, but it’s simply not true. If you want to have your faith in people restored, Friends with Things is a good place to start.

I’ve also discovered that sharing really can make you happy.

The project is still new and still just beginning and it would be great to have a few more people join in and help us along, so please come and visit the site, say hello and maybe share something and make a new friend yourself – you’ll find the site at www.friendswiththings.com.au

You’re also welcome to get in touch with me if you have any thoughts or ideas about the site, I can always do with good advice and feedback  – I’m at [email protected]

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