Thursday, February 24, 2011

Start A Neighborhood Tools Co-op!

We've never owned a pressure washer, so when my mother offered to loan us hers I wasn't really sure what to do with it. She was so excited about what a great job it did cleaning her deck and she told me many many times, but I thought it was a lot of enthusiasm for something that is an appliance. Then I used it, and I love it! Yes my mother was right, but shhh don't tell her. The second hand outdoor toys and playhouse that looked pretty clean when we got them turned back to their original color, as did our deck. If it's outside and it's not alive, I've pressure washed it!

I started making a mental list of all the tools and outdoor equipment we still "need" since moving in our new home. I say "need" because while a gas-powered leaf blower is certainly not a necessity, it sure makes life easier than using a rake when you live on three acres! But these items add up to thousands of dollars quickly, and even purchasing one or two a year means it will take us close to another decade to acquire it all, not to mention replacing products as they break. We no longer live in an actual neighborhood, but we do have neighbors who have loaned us tillers and saws--and that has saved us from having to purchase now.

Why not start a tools and garden/lawn equipment co-op in your neighborhood? Ask around and see how many people on your street would be interested in sharing supplies, then make a list of what everyone has. If there are any items still missing each person can buy one, spreading the cost out. Make sure to clearly label all of your equipment with your name (and possibly address) so everyone knows where to return items, and make a policy of how long an item is loaned for so that it's available for the next person in a timely manner. What I really like about this idea is that it is naturally a community-builder, neighbors will get to know one another and also the needs of the families around them. You cannot go wrong by investing in your community, and I'm willing to bet that everyone will gain more than the money saved from purchasing tools.

*If you start one, please share about it in the comments or send an email!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome idea, Joey!!! You are welcome to borrow anything that you need from us :-)