OK, confession time. When I do the ironing, I like to geek it up and listen to podcasts on my iPhone. It makes a fairly boring task enjoyable, and I get to catch up on blogging podcasts, as well as listen to some awesome lectures.
The other day I was listening to some of last years’ TED talks and came across one by Rachel Botsman. It was all about the idea of sharing and how she believed the way of the future was in shared knowledge and shared belongings as opposed to hyper-consumerism (her words, paraphrased poorly).
It really set my mind racing…
How cool would it be if everyone in your suburban block grew one type of produce (herbs, tomatoes, apples, lettuce, leeks, whatever) in addition to anything else they may wish or have time to grow. Then, every couple of weeks you have a produce swap. You take some herbs and some eggs, some leeks and some kale and swap them for bundles of juicy tomatoes, or cucumbers, zucchinis, whatever.
If I let my imaginative and entrepreneurial brain run away from me I see a co-op, rows of homegrown produce, huge tubs of bulk staples and a program for renting out your underused domestic items.
Did you know that on average, a domestic power drill is used less than an hour its entire life? To quote Rachel again:
“You need the hole, not the drill!”
What if co-op members stored their drills, saws and other bits and pieces at the co-op and rented them to other members for a small fee? Make a little bit of cash from the things you own but use really infrequently. Cool.
I really do understand that these are idealistic and naive suggestions. But we have to do something, don’t we? We can’t keep buying more than we can afford, keeping more than we need, wanting what we don’t have and measuring ourselves by our stuff. It’s just not feasible. Or sustainable. And it won’t make us any happier.
What do you think? Slightly insane ramblings of a woman up past her bedtime? Or is there a nugget of potential in there? I’m going for the nugget, personally.