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I was really please I cycled the twelve miles or so to Saxmundham this afternoon to visit the GreenerSax skills share event.

They had local experts on hand to explain about a wide range of skills, including: bee keeping, preserving, foraged food, plumbing, bike repairs, uni-cycle riding, life coaching, silk ink printing, art, massage therapy and more. I admire those with these ‘traditional‘ skills which we are losing, and was inspired with confidence to tackle that dripping tap after a chat with a very knowledgeable lady plumber (thank you). Now, what I really want to share with you is this cool web service which could be used to help us all to share our own possessions, spaces and skills with confidence…

Ecomodo is a free online service that I have recently stumbled across that allows you to lend and borrow everyday objects, skills and spaces with ease. This site is a cross between LETS, Freecycle and eBay, allowing you to choose to lend for free, for a fee or for charity. The clever bit that they have sorted out is all the legal, contractual stuff that might otherwise put you off doing this yourself, and simplifying the payment process too – acting as a secure escrow (third party) with payments made via PayPal.

Ecomodo website

Ecomodo website

What I like about this service is that you can set up your own lending circles, as you are more likely to loan or hire items to people you know or who live close by. With payments going to any PayPal account you can even make payments to community group funds or charities if you wish. This is an excellent example of the different kinds of business models we need in the future to help reduce unnecessary waste & purchases by fully utilising what we already have/own, rather than squandering precious time, money or resources on buying new stuff which is then under-used. Just what we need in these times of austerity and environmental dangers. Win. Win. Win.

Did you know: apparently, the average power drill is used for just 12 minutes of its life. This is very wasteful, expensive and inefficient, which is where Collaborative Consumption comes in. Rather than being consumers of goods and services, we can use the benefits of community citizenship to lesson our impact on precious resources and the environement whilst helping our neighbours. Another example would be WhipCar where we you can hire out your own vehicle to create an income for times when you don’t need it – Q: how many vehicles are there in your household? and how often are they left unused?

So, whatever skill, object or spaces you own, use Ecomodo to help you share them with minimum hassle. The more of us who join these services the better the chance we can find or offer what is needed. I have set up circles for my own community at ‘Boyton’ as well as for members of the GreenPrint Forum and my own work.

So check it it out:

  • What could you offer or need to borrow?
  • And what circles could you grow in your neighbourhood, work or other groups?

BoytonBoy

PS – thanks to Jenny and Michael for sharing a lift back in their car (and to you for reading this far)