Thurston County Solid Waste – Sharing Is Making A Comeback

first_imgSubmitted by Thurston County Solid WasteThurston County Solid Waste is encouraging residents to consider sharing items, such as through a tool library.Consumers are using in one year what it takes the Earth 1.5 years to make, according to the Global Footprint Network. The holidays are an especially high-consumption time for many shoppers. But there are new (old) ways to adjust our consumption, conserve resources, strengthen community relations, and prevent waste. In some circles it is called collaborative consumption. Others are calling it “the shared economy.” Whatever you call it, there is rapid growth in this sector and it is becoming more popular than ever. We are already seeing some of it in our part of the world.The whole idea is that people are working together to fill their needs for cars, lodging, tools, books, and more. Think of the library as one end of the model, where items are kept, organized, and shared among members. Another example is the rural farm community model, where neighbors pitch-in together to share a tractor or hay mower among a number of small farms. Some shared resources are offered for free, others for a nominal cost.Have you shared or borrowed anything recently? The answer is likely, “no.” Many people don’t have the trusting relationships that we might have had in the past. It seems households don’t know their neighbors, buy goods they rarely use, and do not trust many others with the care of their goods. A sharing economy is one that works when personal boundaries are expanded as well as our closets and garages. There is a feeling of abundance.  And it relies on good, old fashion trust. Many of the popular models, especially the online ones, allow users to build a reputation based on exchanges. Users can see this information and use it to make decisions. In fact, some are even calling trust the currency of the new economy.One popular idea associated with increased urban gardening is a “tool library.” There are lots of models in different cities, including neighboring Seattle and Portland. Users come together to share certain tools they might need in gardening projects. Some others include Little Free Libraries, which are starting to pop up in neighborhoods around you.Some sharing is happening without a thought for reciprocation. People are already donating items to thrift stores and charities. And now there are places to get free goods like at Freestores like those in Olympia and Portland. Donate what you don’t want and take what you need for free. You can also find free stuff online using sites such as, Craigslist, or Freecycle. If you are worried about the person on the other end just do what the hobby traders do, meet in a public place during the day, such as a department store parking lot or restaurant.The Tenino Yellow Bike Project shares bikes around town.Community bike shares have come to Thurston County. The Tenino Yellow Bike Project makes sharing easy and free. The project is brought to us by T9O Department of Transportation (not a government agency but a non-profit dedicated to youth and community). The idea is that if you need a ride and see one leaning against a building, you take it. Just stay in town please. There are other community bike programs in the US and aboard. Other bike sharing programs are supported by the government or by a nonprofit and there are usually fees. In Minneapolis, you take a bike from a check-out station and then leave it at another. You are charged based on the time.Other models don’t have a specific location and are online companies, such as ZipCar. Other vehicle sharing companies include car2go in Austin,  IGO in Chicago, AutoShare in Toronto, StattAuto  in Kassel, Germany,  GoGet in Australia, and others.One of the more interesting models connects users from all around the globe and with your city. It is called peer-to-peer sharing. Items are owned by private individuals and the online host provides ways for users to connect. For cars, there is Getaround, Whipcar, RelayRides, Zimride, Compareandshare, and more. How about a crane for your next project in Germany? If you’re looking for lodging; there’s airbnb, Roomarama, couchsurfing,  ShortTermHousing, HouseTrip, and Tripping.Networking is half the battle in offering items to lend or borrowing items you need. Some sites have popped up that are gaining traction by giving you a chance to get to know your neighbors. They include Streetbank,  A Spare to Share, NeighborGoods, ecomodo, Nextdoor, iShareStuff, Hey, Neighbor!. People offer items, services, or just a hand when you need it!The idea is not contained to goods. Individual business people are finding the benefits of working around others even when it means sharing an office space occasionally. They call it coworking or shared offices.  Shared Offices is service to match the needs of providers and seekers. ShareDesk is another site. Here are some cool examples of coworking.Other places to borrow in Thurston County:Books, mixed media, digital downloads, and other—Timberland Regional Library, Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, Yelm, and Tenino.Books, mixed media (environmental education topics)—Thurston County Solid Waste, Olympia.Event recycle and compost collection equipment—various agencies and groups, various locations.Weaving accessories—Olympia Weavers Guild, Olympia.If you find options for sharing, please share them on the Thurston County Solid Waste Facebook page or send a tweet to @SolidWasteThuCo.Solid Waste agencies up and down the west coast are seeing the benefits of focusing on the “reduce, reuse” part of the three R’s. Consumers and governments can save money on disposal and recycling costs through buying less new stuff, sharing, and when you need to purchase something, buying it used. And it is good for the environment too.Disclaimer: the above listed sites and companies are just a sample as an education service by Thurston County to the public and is not an endorsement or guarantee of the quality of the services offered or provided by these sites or companies. Facebook24Tweet0Pin0last_img

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