The Etsy Blog

Noted: Collaborative Consumption handmade and vintage goods


I was recently hit with the insatiable desire to revisit my childhood through the eyes of Nancy Drew. Knowing that the series sits dormant on bookshelves across the country, I refused to plunk down my hard-earned money for a new copy at a book store. I walked to the local library to quell my nostalgia, only to be met by locked doors. (Ah, Sunday!) I found myself wishing there was a tool or app that would show people in my area who have Nancy Drew books available for borrowing. After doing a little research, I discovered I wasn’t the only person yearning for a simple method for efficiently and sustainably locating the goods I want.

Collaborative consumption, a movement recently highlighted by Morgan Clendaniel for Co.Design, encourages communities to monetize their unused goods through a system of borrowing. Zip Car and bike sharing programs are excellent examples of rethinking consumption, enabling people to borrow a method of transportation for the few hours it’s needed. “You might own some tools that you never use, or perhaps you have a backyard that you just don’t have the time to do anything interesting with,” explains Clendaniel. “Today, they can look like revenue streams, not wastes of money.”

Yet more important than making some extra money, collaborative consumption might just free us from the burdens that come along with ownership. “What’s truly important about collaborative consumption is much more world-altering than just supplementing incomes,” says Clendaniel. “If you don’t need to buy a circular saw or a leaf blower just to use them once a year, but can use one when you need it, it could fundamentally impact how we consume.”

Sharing is one of the first lessons taught to children. Can it continue to remain a fundamental tenet in our adult lives?

More Noted Posts

Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas says:

    Nancy Drew? Wave of nostalgia! Thank you for starting an important discussion. Hope sharing gets cool.

    4 years ago

  • StuffByKim

    StuffByKim says:

    interesting concept........that we teach our children when they are small, but then we become adults and seem to want one of our own.

    4 years ago

  • economico

    economico says:

    Very interesting article and idea!!!

    4 years ago

  • wayfaringmagnolia

    wayfaringmagnolia says:

    Ahh what a wonderful concept! I look forward to this ideal growing in everyday use.

    4 years ago

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds says:

    Great idea!

    4 years ago

  • ModernShop

    ModernShop says:

    What a fantastic idea. It could really help the environment too.

    4 years ago

  • fullcircleimages

    fullcircleimages says:

    I love this idea. It saves money, builds a sense of community, and reduces consumption and waste. I hope this catches on! I'll be searching in my area for something like this next time I need something for one task.

    4 years ago

  • CelticVisions

    CelticVisions says:

    What a fantastic idea!

    4 years ago

  • aschwer

    aschwer says:

    This was recently started in my town in Sonoma County. My husband is all about the tools share. Makes you wonder why we didn't think of this sooner! :)

    4 years ago

  • funkyecofashion

    funkyecofashion says:

    this post is really important...and to me. here on the big island of hawaii, myself and a few friends have been coming up with ideas closely related to yours, to encourage sustainability here and to lead by example, the rest of the world. now is the time to come together to revive our communities, economy (green & sustainable, PLEASE!!!) and to enjoy the presence of the joy in our spirits. sharing is much better...(why does everyone need lawnmowers and weedwackers, when there are 22 on the block? ) much aloha, and i look forward to reading more about your success and to seeing the world evolve into abundance and happiness for all.

    4 years ago

  • anotherghostquilts

    anotherghostquilts says:

    Great idea.

    4 years ago

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt says:

    just recently heard this form of idea on public radio . I imagine it would be pretty useful in a lot of ways, love the tools in the garage photo to go with it~

    4 years ago

  • katrinaalana

    katrinaalana says:

    Great idea. Freecycling is a growing community similar to collaborative consumption.

    4 years ago

  • AntoinettesWhims

    AntoinettesWhims says:

    Love the concept. In the real world of liability and lawyers it may be a real hard sell.

    4 years ago

  • vKnit

    vKnit says:


    4 years ago

  • whitehaus

    whitehaus says:

    I love love love this concept! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

    4 years ago

  • blueflowervintage

    blueflowervintage says:

    This works for me! It would be interesting with collectibles and art. I am ecstatic when something leaves my house and just as happy when something new comes in. I love something for minutes on end and love something new immediately after. My husband may have a problem though. He needs to own very very many things from one end of his life to the other... would have to figure that out. Tools though, he would totally have no problem with that

    4 years ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat says:

    Isn't this what used to happen back in the days when we all knew our neighbours & lived in real communities? I have to agree with AntoinettesWhims though... if you allow someone to hire/borrow/share your equipment & they injure themselves with it, you could be liable for a very hefty sum.

    4 years ago

  • LoveButtons

    LoveButtons says:

    This is a great idea - money saving and environmentally friendly. I'm part of a Freegle groups that passes on items for free to folks who will use them - another way to stop things ending up in landfill. :)

    4 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    Love this! We help eachother and the planet. What is not to love?? Thanks for sharing this etsy!

    4 years ago

  • abbyberkson

    abbyberkson says:

    Wow, this is such an interesting idea, and it makes SO much sense!

    4 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Great idea and possible in our communities!

    4 years ago

  • jibbyandjuna

    jibbyandjuna says:

    I live in a small town and know most of my neighbors. We do this all the time but we just share, no money involved. For people who live in community (not just geographically but relationally ) with one another and are interested in the common good, it all evens out in the end. (My neighbor needs a babysitter this afternoon - we need his circular saw the next day. That type of thing.)

    4 years ago

  • JulieLillian

    JulieLillian says:

    What a great concept. Thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • TheBlackOnion

    TheBlackOnion says:

    Wonderful article. Very thought provoking, an inspiring idea.

    4 years ago

  • tokenandpine

    tokenandpine says:

    Yes, yes! This has been on my mind for some time now!

    4 years ago

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts says:

    Love this idea so much. It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to conserve and re-use rather than buy new and let the items sit dormant in our garages and basements once used. Thank you for the article.

    4 years ago

  • AdornmentsNYC

    AdornmentsNYC says:

    awesome idea - I love it!

    4 years ago

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord says:

    Great idea!

    4 years ago

  • mudpuppy

    mudpuppy says:

    Love this concept!

    4 years ago

  • rebourne

    rebourne says:

    I have often thought about the equipment my husband and I own, like backpacking gear, snowboarding gear, rock climbing gear etc. We have three kids, ages 5 and under, so we just don't use it right now. I would love to lend it out to responsible friends, but use a system that is organized and professional. Great idea!

    4 years ago

  • HomemadeSunshine

    HomemadeSunshine says:

    I love this idea! What a wonderful way to get to know people and build communities all while lessening our impact on the earth.

    4 years ago

  • isfour

    isfour says:

    Tenet, not tenant!

    4 years ago

  • HoldTheWire

    HoldTheWire says:

    My family and I were just talking about this idea yesterday, very timely! We were saying how helpful it would be if several people in the neighborhood shared something like a lawnmower or a set of garden tools. Of course, you would need to negotiate terms of how things are used and when, but it could work!

    4 years ago

  • piperscrossing

    piperscrossing says:

    Getting back to the way life used to be...the simple life!!! Thanks for the article!

    4 years ago

  • larkspurfunnyfarm

    larkspurfunnyfarm says:

    Incredible. I would love to start something like that at my farm... I have land that could be shared, equipment, tools, and tons of skills I have learned over the years... Really got me thinking - THANKS!

    4 years ago

  • myneedlehabit

    myneedlehabit says:

    The over-indulgent American way of life has got to go! This is the next step toward the Conscientious Revolution.

    4 years ago

  • GardenApothecary

    GardenApothecary says:

    I love using old, large tools as decor on walls... such a great look.

    4 years ago

  • BlueRoseRetro

    BlueRoseRetro says:

    Love the message. I like the energy that comes along with a borrowed book or object. Nicely written article. thanks for inspiring me to share.

    4 years ago

  • katielynnjewelry

    katielynnjewelry says:

    That is very interesting!

    4 years ago

  • raganella

    raganella says:

    I'm a big fan of sharing. Seems a lot of sites/groups are devoted to it now, like share some sugar, snap goods, and krrb. Also akin to other alternative economies: trading, bartering, skillsharing. All great ways to be thrifty while meeting fun people.

    4 years ago

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick says:

    We're trying to get a "toy exchange" going in our neighborhood. Great article, thanks for sharing!

    4 years ago

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns says:

    Reuse. Reuse. Reuse. What a concept. Great article!

    4 years ago

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink says:

    Great information .

    4 years ago

  • Zeffs

    Zeffs says:

    I use it's a great resource!

    4 years ago

  • Hagarae

    Hagarae says:

    In my building we share tools all the time. I just advised a new neighbor not to purchase a ladder because we own one. We also share workmanship. Every one has special knowledge somebody else does not own so we share.

    4 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Interesting, reminds me of the book project where you leave a book in a public place for others to find. The only condition being once you've finished you pass it on too!

    4 years ago

  • UrbanBlooms

    UrbanBlooms says:

    I can see this idea really helping to build a sense of community. At our church we have a huge Clothing Swap once a year and the chapel is filled with gently used clothes, shoes, accessories, baby clothes and maternity wear. It's like a free shopping spree and so much fun!

    4 years ago

  • bedouin

    bedouin says:

    Agreed though we have to remember to be a good borrower, give it back and take good care of other peoples things as if they were our own in order to keep the peace, especially as products aren't made as well as they used to be and our social graces are well......improving as we now need one another again ~*~

    4 years ago

  • akaWhippersnapper

    akaWhippersnapper says:

    Has anyone heard of The Simple Way? Shane Claiborne is sort of the founder of a community (I think it's in PA) that lives this way - not like a commune - everyone has their own houses, and it looks like a typical neighborhood; but one family might have a lawn mower and the other a washer and dryer, and they all share their resources. Neat idea...I love the community that sharing creates! Great article!

    4 years ago

  • Shamynk

    Shamynk says:

    It is a wonderful idea that has deep roots in American history. Before our economy was based on endless individual consumption, sharing was common. Sharing both human energy and equipment helped America expand when it needed to. I would love to be part of a community that shared self and stuff. Thanks for advancing the issue,

    4 years ago

  • StarsEleven

    StarsEleven says:

    Many times I heard my grandparents talk about this sort of concept. When they were coming up, many people would borrow instead of buy new. Back during WWII, our country recycled everything, even more so than today. Consumption is the status quo these days but that can be changed. The thought out there is that consumption equals more money which in turn equals more jobs; it is a fallacy of the greatest kind.

    4 years ago

  • 2007musarra

    2007musarra says:

    Fantastic!!!! What a great idea. I have a ton of scrap booking paper that I wish I could find someone who really needs it wants it! I have given a ton of things to my sister in law who is a art teacher but there is only so much she can take at a time. I use it to wrap my packages and presents and orders in. I think it maybe multiplying like bunnies though....or I just could not say no to a piece of paper!!??!? Thanks for sharing

    4 years ago

  • mudpiesandgrace

    mudpiesandgrace says:

    My grandmother used to garden on a plot in a neighbor's yard. She had a smaller yard and was able to harvest more and share with the neighbor. It worked out great for both of them.

    4 years ago

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy says:

    there are a lot of small things that can be done collaboratively that add up to a whole lot, but i'd shy away from the communes and such.

    4 years ago

  • Allelon

    Allelon says:

    Shamynk, I have heard of him. In fact, I live in a similar community in Texas. It's amazing how much further a dollar goes when everyone is willing to share!

    4 years ago

  • brigidmcnellis

    brigidmcnellis says:

    Awesome ! I want to know more about this system and how to use it .. is there a website or something for it...?

    4 years ago

  • floodplainstudio

    floodplainstudio says:

    Yes! Let's focus on abundance, not scarcity!!

    4 years ago

  • auntjanecan

    auntjanecan says:

    This is a wonderful concept for community and sharing! Thanks for this post!

    4 years ago

  • Shtetle

    Shtetle says:

    I think its a lovely idea, and of course, makes a lot of sense. Possibly a little naive though. The world is not full of people with pure motives unfortunately, or those who care to treat your property the way they would their own. Guess we have to pick & choose eh?

    4 years ago

  • inkidesigns

    inkidesigns says:

    a little like "Ubuntu" here in Africa.........let's spread the message. I have a back yard........anyone wishing to grow veggies? I have many baking pans and trays.........anyone wanting to bake? I have boxes of fabric scraps.............anyone yearning to piece together a quilt?

    4 years ago

  • uglyyellow

    uglyyellow says:

    Wow - what an inspiring idea! That you for posting this - you lead me to think about it in terms of our little cities art scene...and write this: I am hoping it sparks some interesting conversations here in Spokane! ♥

    4 years ago

  • KisforCalligraphy

    KisforCalligraphy says:

    This has been going on for centuries. It is called community and sharing like jibbyandjuna mentions in her comment. While I am a huge fan of responsible consumption, I am also a huge fan of a healthy economy. Our need for instant gratification leads us to over consume. Wanting to read Nancy Drew books on a Sunday knowing the library will open in a day or two is symptom of this "must have it' now mentality. Collaborative consumption is a super way to practice sustainability and fiscal responsibility. But I fear that sometimes the money saved by not purchasing something is being spent on things that are being mass produced in a much more un-eco-friendly way. xoxo ps. a very good discussion nonetheless. :)

    4 years ago

  • scavengeress

    scavengeress says:

    In one Philadelphia neighborhood there's a "Toybrary" that works like a membership library; great alternative to buying new toys that kids get tired of quickly. But just fyi about Nancy Drew, in recent years the stories have been rewritten, making Nancy less independent and more conventionally "girly." I guess that's a really good reason to look for the oldest editions! (although the very oldest ones can have terminology that might be puzzling to younger readers).

    4 years ago

  • MissingHeirloom

    MissingHeirloom says:

    Collaborative Consumption - I love the idea! We do a small amount of this - with out knowing what it was called - with our neighbor - borrowing tools, scaffolding, labor, etc... But doing it on a larger scale - how wonderful! We live in a very tiny house - and I sell old stuff - and make and sell new stuff - my new mantra - to quote a famous architect - "less is more'. and a note to scavengeress: The old timey volumes are good up to volume 56 I believe.

    4 years ago

  • SETdesign

    SETdesign says:

    Wonderful article and I love the concept! My husband has started a green business initiative in our town and this is another way of reusing materials which would work so well alongside what he is doing with his LEED projects, etc. I am going to try a system like this in our town, plus, its a great way to meet other folks in a positive way. :)

    4 years ago

  • Zhouart

    Zhouart says:

    Very thoughtful

    4 years ago

  • adoodle

    adoodle says:

    great idea! :)

    4 years ago

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree says:

    Brilliant idea.....especially for people who only use these items once or twice a year! Thank you for sharing and giving us all great idea's! Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • DarlesCharwin

    DarlesCharwin says: allows users to create a wishlist as long as they upload a list of books they are willing to send to other users.

    4 years ago

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom says:

    Wonderful ideas and fantastic concepts. I can see this actually working in smaller communities. But if your live in a community where your neighbors aren't that friendly - would be difficult to make this work. Most people that could car pool - will not do it they always have excuses as to why they can not. There are even gov. programs that will provide vans if you can get enough employees interested.

    4 years ago

  • HelloSprout

    HelloSprout says:

    This is a great idea, to get back to community living like people used to. Moving from farm to farm as a group harvesting crops or cutting hay. I think the idea of sharing would help us all.

    4 years ago

  • MadisonStreetBeauty

    MadisonStreetBeauty says:

    Thanks for sharing this so many great ideas!

    4 years ago

  • blbarrett

    blbarrett says:

    I started a group on my Facebook called "The Sharing Pantry", so far I have been able to share beading materials, a new puzzle, toys, books, magazines, patterns, knitting materials and have received sewing patterns, a nearly new coffeepot to replace my broken one and several other things I needed to complete is an easy way to connect with friends everywhere and not be worried about local pickup or drop off as I am dealing with friends,,,,,cost for mailing any items is usually minimal.

    4 years ago

  • stephofsydney

    stephofsydney says:

    Sharing is most definitely something that has always been around - the internet is simply helping people to connect and share in ways not possible before. Have you checked out the list of examples from There are plenty of sites where you can swap books and other items. Most of the top ones are on that list, but there are heaps more out there. I run the @CollCons twitter account, so if anyone has questions, feel free to contact us through twitter. We follow and profile a lot of up-and-coming Collaborative Consumption examples. We are also on facebook!

    4 years ago

  • AyaImpression

    AyaImpression says:

    Thanks for sharing :)

    4 years ago

  • AyaImpression

    AyaImpression says:

    So many of us readily dispose of things that almost always have alternative uses. We just need to be more resourceful, conceptual, or creative. Thanks for sharing! :)

    4 years ago

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane says:

    ahhh, Nancy Drew... and Trixie Belden! After reading this, I'll have to go dig out my childhood books. :)

    4 years ago

  • thedreamboxshop

    thedreamboxshop says:

    yes yes yes. sign me up!

    4 years ago

  • girliepains
  • sweetanthem

    sweetanthem says:

    Isn't this what Freecycle is all about? I absolutely love to freecycle. Especially on the brink of a move – sometimes you uncover things you forgot you had that someone else can really make use of.

    4 years ago

  • BeJeweledNH

    BeJeweledNH says:

    Very timely subject. My husband and I have been discussing some of the same swapping/sharing ideas lately with our neighbors. I think there is going to be some serious borrowing/sharing going on in our neighborhood in the near future!

    4 years ago

  • weezieduzzit

    weezieduzzit says:

    I couldn't help but giggle. Knowing people in your community and sharing aren't new concepts.

    4 years ago

  • weezieduzzit

    weezieduzzit says:

    I highly recommend the book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community to anyone interested in this concept. I'd even be willing to loan out my copy if a friend didn't already have it. :)

    4 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop says:

    It is obvious that swapping, lending and sharing are the way to go in a world that needs to slow down its consumption. The icing on the cake is the sense of community built and reinforced by this common yet overlooked need.

    4 years ago

  • TerryAskeArtQuilts

    TerryAskeArtQuilts says:

    Great article!

    4 years ago

  • odpeacock

    odpeacock says:

    Who wants to put a garden in my back yard? I'm just killing stuff and I'd only want some tomatoes in return. I'll let you borrow my boxcar children books. Great ideas.

    4 years ago

  • FlutterbyeNotes

    FlutterbyeNotes says:

    My husband was just lamenting during a DIY house project that he didn't have the tool he needed. He wants to start a place where people donate tools (he specifically needed wood working tools) and people can come and borrow something they need. We borrow like crazy from my dad's garage!

    4 years ago

  • JoviesJewels

    JoviesJewels says:

    Great Idea!

    4 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Interesting story.

    4 years ago

  • rosealida

    rosealida says:

    Kind of similar to the library concept but for other goods. Not sure it would be popular with manufactures but definitely better for the environment and pocket book.

    4 years ago

  • MadisonStreetBeauty

    MadisonStreetBeauty says:

    great idea

    4 years ago

  • PyxusPassionProject

    PyxusPassionProject says:

    Great topic for discussion! I'm all for it and am more than happy to ask my friends and neighbors if I can borrow their tools (since I have none) or a/p last week - borrowing my friends cd player.. for which I gladly exchanged some "cat sitting" time.

    4 years ago

  • jennyleefowler

    jennyleefowler says:

    We have made great friends and borrowed and gifted wonderful things through our local ecycle network-- rototillers, books, and perennials, etc. There are lots of ways to make your world smaller and bigger at the same time.

    4 years ago

  • glassandlight

    glassandlight says:

    it's a lovely idea - kind of an outgrowth of the garage sale and the swap meet. Here in Israel there is a website for things that people want to give away. I love the idea of a borrowing kind of arrangement, though. Great article.

    4 years ago

  • JuditLior

    JuditLior says:

    excelent idea!

    4 years ago

  • BagNoir

    BagNoir says:

    Fantastic idea but I see it working in a small community were the people know which other and are ready to help you at any time. I still don't know some of my neighbours :(

    4 years ago

  • jungledread

    jungledread says:

    To share, brings people closer together. A worthy aim in reducing misunderstandings and isolation :)

    4 years ago

  • angiescollectibles

    angiescollectibles says:

    We have a huge garden which we share the produce every year. We could sell it but my husband would rather give it away. Lots of work goes into it and love. I do a lot of canning for gifts all I ask is the jars come back so I can fill them again. We love sharing the blessings God has given us. Just wish sometimes someone would help with the weeding.

    4 years ago

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 says:

    What a wonderufl concept! Just wondering though how would it work to borrow a car for insurance purposes? Don't know if I would be willing to do that but most counties have a social service system that has volunteer drivers if you check with your local social service system. Great article!!!

    4 years ago

  • piecesofelises

    piecesofelises says:

    I like the idea of sharing items we seldom use. A lady I know has been hosting "swaps" at her house lately. We all brought things we didn't want or use. I brought a box of interchangeable watch pieces, that I definitely thought was nice when it was given to me, but that I knew I would probably not wear. A teenage girl at the swap grabbed it off of the table and asked her mom excitedly if she could have it to give as a gift to her grandmother. I was happy that she would be able to give it as a gift to somebody else. For myself I found a brown leather bag, just like what I'd been looking for, and I could take it home for free! I think we all left the swap happy. Happy that we gave, and happy that we were able to get things that we wanted or needed at no cost to ourselves!

    4 years ago

  • TheAdornedArticle

    TheAdornedArticle says:

    First-I love Nancy Drew-I know I have these books in my house somewhere-I should really get motivated and find them. Second-What a well- timed article-my husband and I were just talking about something like this over the weekend...seems like we're not the only ones. Great post-thank you!

    4 years ago

  • FrenchGypsy

    FrenchGypsy says:

    Where I live in France the borrowing/sharing of tools been happening for centuries, it is called 'Troc' It also includes working for someone, doing a job they cannot do, and then they work for you for something you need doing, at no charge. It works very well. I think it's basically a way round the French tax system :o)

    4 years ago

  • ElementalDesign

    ElementalDesign says:

    I use the yahoo group "freecycle" - its a place to give away stuff you are aren't using anymore, or to request items you may want but can't afford. I've given away chickens, printers, etc. and recieved a picnic table and lawn furniture among other things!

    4 years ago

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies says:

    Awesome Idea.

    4 years ago

  • Alaroycreature

    Alaroycreature says:

    Sweet! I love this idea! Maybe i should make a poster with a list of thing i can let people borrow :P

    4 years ago

  • loopyboopy

    loopyboopy says:

    This is a fantastic idea and I really look forward to the concept growing and changing the way we use and consume. I'm going to look into it in my area and do my part!! As others have said I think in small communitiies this happens everyday, its a very natural and rewarding thing to share, its in larger urban areas where we've ironically become so isolated the idea has become lost, yet it is where it is probably needed most.

    4 years ago

  • ikikata

    ikikata says:

    I love this article: My friends and I have always practiced "clothing swaps" where we all get together and rummage through each others piles of clothing that we're tired of. I also recently moved cross-country, and instead of throwing away all my unused groceries (bottles of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, baking materials) or toiletries (shampoos and soaps and other fun girly stuff) I simply donated them to my friends, who were happy to receive such an abundance of things. It's not just about how we consume, but also about how we dispose.

    4 years ago

  • OnASundayAfternoon

    OnASundayAfternoon says:

    Great article! I love the concept and hope it catches on!!

    4 years ago

  • GemmaBeads

    GemmaBeads says:

    I'm about in the same position as jibbyandjuna. Just being neighborly. Need to borrow our trailer? Sure! Have you finished reading that book? Can I borrow it? It would be wonderful to make a living doing this but for now, just knowing that I am in a small community of friends that don't take advantage and are willing to give as much as they take is a huge blessing.

    4 years ago

  • quiltsbykandy

    quiltsbykandy says:

    Wow, this is a most fascinating concept!!!

    4 years ago

  • gaylepritchard

    gaylepritchard says:

    I have heard of this happening on a formal scale across the country. Now, to find it in my neck of the woods!

    4 years ago

  • NoriaLoom

    NoriaLoom says:

    Love the idea, love the article and most of all I love the way people respond to the it!! The concept is from the same category with Couch Surfing and Carpooling witch already had a great success and impact.

    4 years ago

  • rosemreyes

    rosemreyes says:

    I love this idea!!!

    4 years ago

  • ClothandPatina

    ClothandPatina says:

    Absolutely essential...we have property that was going unused and decided to allow local bee farmers the opportunity to utilize our unused land. Great article...thanks so much for sharing.

    4 years ago

  • EchoesOfSummer

    EchoesOfSummer says:

    Brilliant! If not to reduce waste then to save money. For example; our car is old, a 1991 Chrysler, runs safely, do we need a new Prius... plainly simple... no. We as a society need to learn to really take care of the things that we already have, and not go for the next new thing... the plus side is we save a lot of money maintaining a perfectly good vehicle, instead of getting a new car every 5 years!

    4 years ago

  • dieseline

    dieseline says:

    This is a great theory. As a few people have said those of us who thive in more rural areas tend to share and trade tools, veggies, eggs, labor, etc. with neighbors often. However, both us and our neighbor depend on wood heat and had the agreement of us paying for the chainsaw and him using it to help cut wood for both of us this was an issue. We ended up cutting through out the winter as he was too lazy. Then he would sneek in our yard and help himself to our wood. When the wood was low he would use our chainsaw to cut his own wood and it was returned broken several times needing a part we had to buy. Again it's a great idea for books and things, but it's not so fun to sleep with out heat.

    4 years ago

  • pinkbijou

    pinkbijou says:

    Very good idea!

    4 years ago

  • ScarletLark

    ScarletLark says:

    Inspiring idea!

    4 years ago

  • meltholiz

    meltholiz says:

    Very interesting and sooo inspired! thanks for the article :)

    4 years ago

  • anteakbooteek

    anteakbooteek says:

    If we all got on board with this theory , life would be so joyously different!

    4 years ago

  • MadebyLinLin

    MadebyLinLin says:

    "myneedlehabit says: The over-indulgent American way of life has got to go! This is the next step toward the Conscientious Revolution" I may not be american, but this is so true! and goes for Canadians as well!

    4 years ago

  • RosellaResin

    RosellaResin says:

    I am a big fan of vrtucar car sharing here in Ottawa. The internet has allowed all of these new exciting consumer models to take off. My mold-making table was actually a freecycle find. Brave new world!

    4 years ago

  • AquaCherry

    AquaCherry says:

    I'm so glad to have come across this post. I love seeing our society growing with new ideas of creating & sharing instead of just consuming. Thank you for sharing this!

    4 years ago

  • dreamdigital

    dreamdigital says:

    Great article, fantastic idea!

    4 years ago

  • thepapercupcakeshop

    thepapercupcakeshop says:

    This article makes me chuckle. People are often quick to poke fun at Midwesterners, but we already do this, especially in my particular county where unemployment is the highest in the state. It is not a new concept-it is what we think family and friends are for. However-I personally never loan out anything that I cannot afford or bear to permanently lose, as humans are not perfect and when you "loan", you will undoubtedly also end up "giving".

    4 years ago

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt says:

    A good way to get to know the neighbors! We actually do this with the weedwacker, mower and steak knives. Ha!

    4 years ago

  • SolDelSur

    SolDelSur says:

    Sharing it's practiced in many (if not most) countries. As thepapercupcakeshop said, that's what friends and family are for, specially where overspending or going into debt is not considered equal as being patriotic. I was just amazed at how people don't share, when I first got to the US! Hopefully the economic crisis has one good consequence after all.

    4 years ago

  • AltogetherLeather

    AltogetherLeather says:

    An excellent idea!

    4 years ago

  • biophiliadesigns

    biophiliadesigns says:

    This concept of community "libraries" is much more apt and needed in urban and suburban environments in the US. yes, this does happen more often in rural communities, and rightfully so. the urban / suburban dwellers suffer from extreme isolation due to socioeconomic issues and city / regional planning. an excellent example of a successful "sharing" is the Philly Car Share program which was developed by the founder of a similar program in San Fransisco. Americans DO share... much like the rest of the world.... (@SolDelSur) its a shame it is not more prevalent or as visible as in other cultures... as Americans we know there are community gardens, churches, places of worship, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, skill share classes, workshops, seed shares, and various traditions that have recently been gaining momentum in the DIY community. There is never a "good consequence" of an economic crisis, I don't believe... but hopefully our global community can reflect on Western standards of development and the impacts of these growth patterns (economically, environmentally, and emotionally.)

    4 years ago

  • BluJeanBeads

    BluJeanBeads says:

    Butl I am trying to sell jewelry. I don't want you to collaborate. I want each of you and your ten friends to buy a piece of jewelry. Well I guess you could share it all around and then I want you to come back to BJB and buy a piece of jewelry and your ten friends to buy a piece of jewelry and share them all around....and then.....LOL! My sister of is also a jeweler and we purchase and trade stock together all the time. I come from a huge family (7 kids) we had to share....we still share things, time, bicycles, kids, work, cookies, and's great!

    4 years ago

  • DejaReViewGreenArts

    DejaReViewGreenArts says:

    Yes, in my California neighborhood - no one really knows each other. It has gotten more so this way in the last ten years. Collaboration is perhaps one excellent way for neighbors to have an opportunity to get to know one another! And I agree - sure I want people to buy my goods here on - but everytime someone buys a piece of my goods and "collaboratively" uses it - ie a friend of theirs borrows it and wears the piece to an event - perhaps it is adding to the marketability of the item and of my shop.... and not taking away from. A new circle of people may then see this item that otherwise may not have ever had any opportunity for such an introduction....and those people tell their friends....and ...and....

    4 years ago

  • goldbee

    goldbee says:

    Soon we will front the consequences of our consumer way of life; over production, waste and profit logic will affect our lifestyle and we will front problem of space, of health so we must re-educate ourselves and this is the first step. Thanks for sharing.

    4 years ago

  • RescuedRemnants

    RescuedRemnants says:

    Great post. Hummm?....But then why do I get panicky when I think about not having MY own leaf blower, weed wacker, etc??? Sounds like I may need to unleash a few of my rescued remnants and temporarily rescue a few more from my neighbors. Thanks for helping me to stretch my thinking!!

    4 years ago

  • toms13

    toms13 says:

    This raises a really good point about how our communities as a whole can work together to make better use of the commodities we already own rather than employing industry to manufacture and consume precious raw materials. Networks like Craig's List, eBay, and our very own Etsy show us that these kind of connections can be made online. However, the hurdle that we must first overcome is being able to trust those that we don't know personally to use our belongings respectfully and return them on time. Thank you for bringing forth such a thought provoking topic!

    4 years ago

  • BarbaraPantuso

    BarbaraPantuso says:

    just came across this article. i love it and love etsy. thanks for sharing the collaborative consumption movement with esty members. this is near and dear to my heart. i'm the founder of a website called Hey, Neighbor ( that aims to do just this - foster collaboration, sharing, and connecting among trusted neighbors. @toms13 - i couldn't agree more. it starts with building trust. it's hard to do that, especially given the scams we hear about, but once you start building that trust, it's amazing how communities thrive - and how it makes people happier.

    4 years ago

  • Google says:

    Google Check beneath, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, nonetheless, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use.

    1 year ago