Throughout much of human history, objects, tools and land weren’t owned, but shared between the community. Certainly as hunter-gathers, the concepts of ownership and amassing wealth would have been completely alien to people constantly on the move and needing to carry all possessions in their hands. Putting down roots as farmers allowed accumulation of resources, but even through to the 17th century, practically every human settlement had a “commons” – land that the locals all shared for cultivating crops and grazing livestock. Farmers worked alongside each other, helping each other out, and shared tools.
Much of this has now changed in today’s modern consumerist world.
However, set-ups like the Sharing Depot in Toronto are now bucking this trend. Offering a “library of things” for it’s two-thousand members, a subscription of $50 a year provides access to tens of thousands of dollars of tools, games, and sports equipment. And this isn’t an isolated effort – there are an estimated 80 tool libraries across North America, Europe and Asia.
Not only is this wonderfully community-minded and a far cheaper way to access the tools and equipment you need — sharing rather than owning — it’s also far more environmentally friendly.
Read more about the Sharing Depot of Libraries of Things in The Atlantic