Does everybody really need their own lawn mower? That is the topic of this post. Well, not just lawn mowers, but stuff in general. I’m talking about machines and tools that often cost a lot of money, but are not used all the time or are otherwise conducive to sharing. Like cars, swing sets, grills, pools, workout equipment, gardening tools, roast pots, steam cleaners, snow blowers, and, of course, lawn mowers.
We currently live in an apartment complex where we are at least able to share things like grills, a pool, and workout equipment. We don’t need much of the other “stuff,” because we don’t have a yard to take care of. However, I know that it’s possible even in a neighborhood with individual homes. It has been done.
There are several reasons to share stuff:
- You save money!
- It lessens the impact on the environment (if five households share a lawn mower, that’s four less lawn mowers ending up in a landfill).
- It creates community!!
This article on the topic also points out that it is a reflection of American history (for my US readers…). I think that’s important to keep in mind. We didn’t always live like we live now and own all the stuff we own now and we managed just fine. We need to realize that we have enough.
One of my wishes for our family’s future is that we might be able to live in a community where this type of sharing takes place extensively. Some of you may be familiar with the co-housing concept. This is where people consciously choose to live together in a small community with individual dwellings for each family, but with shared spaces for things like guest rooms, kitchen (for voluntary shared meals), workout room, entertainment space, organic gardening, and more. Pretty cool!
The thing is, the sharing doesn’t start automatically. Take initiative! If you have small children, start a toy sharing group or if you live where there is good public transportation, see if a close friend would consider sharing a car. There are lots of ways to share (and save – both the planet and your money).