- 11:57 am - Tue, Jul 17, 2012
- 56 notes
Here’s an impressive variation on the “share economy” idea. It does involve a rental fee, but it clearly makes tools available in an efficient way, with positive results.
Since opening last year, Charlotte’s ToolBank has equipped more than 11,000 volunteers at 500 different projects, lending tools with a combined retail value of $243,000 for only $7,200. It now provides 134 nonprofit agencies with tools.
The Charlotte location is just one of several ToolBanks nationwide. The original, Atlanta Community ToolBank, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Baltimore’s ToolBank opened at the end of May, and another is scheduled to open in Cincinnati later this summer. Local nonprofits can rent tools for just three percent of the cost of the tool, multiplied by the number of weeks it’s needed. A shovel that normally costs $30 to buy? A paltry $1.80 cents to rent it for two weeks from the ToolBank.
The rentals fees are just “enough to get people to bring the tools back,” says Patty Russart, who has served as executive director of Atlanta’s ToolBank for nearly four years.
(via The Awesome Power of ToolBanks - Neighborhoods - The Atlantic Cities)
- 2:02 pm
- 38 notes
Over the past couple of years, we’ve followed the rise of NeighborGoods, the site that enables neighbors to share stuff. (Why buy a new drill that you might use only twice a year; instead, borrow one from a neighbor, and perhaps get to know that neighbor!)
NeighborGoods is among the collaborative consumption services we’ve mentioned a couple of times. It’s with some surprise to learn this news from the company:
Our team has very big news that we want to share with you. After three amazing years, 25,000 incredible neighbors and over $4.5 million of inventory being shared, NeighborGoods.net will be shutting its doors. We would like to share what this means for you and your account.
Over the next three weeks we will be preparing for our shutdown which will be happening July 31st. We strongly encourage you to complete any open transactions by this date. After today we will no longer be accepting group subscriptions or account verifications.
Although this is goodbye for NeighborGoods we are excited to announce that members of our team have created a brand new sharing tool, Favortree. Favortree is a ‘play it forward’ trading game [favor-trading game/app] for universities, faith communities and local neighborhoods. Members can help each other by sharing goods and completing small favors. By helping your friends and neighbors, you earn rewards which you can exchange for help when you need it.
Read the rest: Goodbye NeighborGoods; Hello Favortree!
"Shutting its doors," with no explanation why? Anyone know?
Related: TheNextWeb post on the Favortree game/app.
- 8:55 am - Fri, Jun 8, 2012
- 146 notes
I was quite interested to read — via the link to Atlantic Cities above as well as on Science Daily — about research suggesting that “Freecycle generates feelings of group unity and cohesion [PDF] among the people who participate in it.”
Freecycle is the “hey I have this thing if you want it let me know” service that I wrote about some years ago, calling the underlying practice “unconsumption.” My interest then was: “It’s worth pondering whether getting rid of stuff can ever feel as good as getting it.” I more or less concluded the answer was Yes, and eventually that led to this very site you are reading right now.
Obviously we’ve gotten more expansive about what unconsumption means, but our advocacy of “creative reuse and mindful consumer behavior” still ties back to the very notions that these researchers have examined. Here’s a little more on their study:
Sociologists have long been intrigued by these kinds of benevolent “generalized exchange communities.” … What motivates people to participate in them?
"This old idea that gift-giving communities generate lots of solidarity, is it true and does it hold up outside of the lab?" asks Robb Willer, a sociologist at the University of California. "We found that it does."
Freecycle generates feelings of group unity and cohesion [PDF] among the people who participate in it. “First, you sort of build this feeling of group identification,” Willer says. “Then you build this feeling of solidarity. Then after that you’re more motivated to give to the system.”
Interestingly, you don’t get the same benefits from participating on Craigslist, which is a more traditional type of “direct exchange system” based on the quid pro quo that you’ll give me something – probably cash – in return for my old love seat. The researchers drew their conclusions by conducting extensive surveys of hundreds of users of both of these networks.
- 5:18 am - Tue, Apr 10, 2012
- 8,156 notes
Weapon of Mass Instruction
Built from a welded frame atop a 1979 Ford Falcon, Raul Lemesoff drives around the streets of Buenos Aires distributing free books to anybody who wants to be assaulted with some serious learnin’.
(via: make / laughingsquid)
A mobile library (art car) that’s helping to foster an interest in both reading and sharing books in Argentina? Auto-reblog for Unconsumption’s celebration of book-things during National Library Week.
- 11:09 am - Thu, Feb 23, 2012
- 30 notes
Got a road trip coming up? Why not use Ridejoy to save yourself the gas money and maybe make a new friend in the process? The site’s a lot like apartment/room-share site AirBnB. It leverages the power of the web to connect people so that they can use their resources more efficiently — and, of course, save money in the process.
Here’s how it works. You post an upcoming road trip on the site, name your price (sharing the cost of the gas, say) and see who’s interested. Like AirBnB, connections to your real Facebook profile and reviews by others who have met you through the site help establish that you’re not an ax murderer or whatever.
Let us know if you use the site.
Related: Earlier Unconsumption posts on sharing-oriented programs and services here.