Sharing and borrowing are two sides of the same coin. And they’re both green in two important ways: They reduce the need to accumulate more stuff. Plus, they save money by helping you avoid having to buy something you can just as easily borrow. As for swapping, isn’t that something we’ve all been doing since we were a kids, swapping baseball cards, books, toys and more? If you’ve never thought about sharing, borrowing and swapping as “green,” think again!
Thanks to technology, sharing, borrowing and swapping are simpler than ever before. Please stay tuned – we plan to bring you many more ideas that will make it easier for you to share what you have and borrow what you need. For now, we hope these links will help you find more ways to share, borrow and swap.
Neighborhood List-Serv – If your community doesn’t have a list-serv yet, set one up. I have found my neighborhood’s list-serv to be a wonderful way to borrow things I don’t want to buy but occasionally need (like hedge trimmers, chain saws, sewing machines, steam carpet cleaners). I’ve also been happy to let my neighbors borrow my stuff (folding chairs, holiday lights, some sports equipment comes to mind). And we all use the list to swap like crazy. Parents of fast-growing kids constantly swap clothes as their babies grow into toddlers, toddlers into little kids, and so on.
Swap.com – This website makes it easy to swap books, movies music, and games. There’s no fee to join or trade. You swap one item, you get one. Simple as that.
BookMooch.com – Swap books you no longer need or want for those you do. There’s no fee to trade or join, but you’ll earn points every time you send someone a book that you can redeem for other books.
GameTZ.com – This site is great for people who want to trade video games. It’s also free to browse; there may be some charges for certain trades, but still, it’s cheaper than buying new.
Rent the Runway – If you’re into high fashion but not the price tag that usually goes with it, take a look at RenttheRunway. Note that this is not a borrow/share/swap site, but you’re truly renting the designer dresses, shoes, and jewelry you select.
Yerdle.com – You’ll find over 10,000 items you can get your hands on absolutely free, though you will pay for shipping. Make sure to give a little love back by putting some of your own stuff on Yerdle, too (though there’s no requirement to do so).
For even more ideas and great resources, don’t miss Sharing is Good. How to Save Money, Time and Resources through Collaborative Consumption, by my friend Beth Buczynski. It’s a fast read full of great ideas that will make it easier for you to share, borrow and swap.