There is but one mode by which man can possess in perpetuity all the happiness which his nature is capable of enjoying—that is by the union and co-operation of all for the benefit of each. —Robert Owen
Advertisers pressure us to buy and retain every contraption we may ever want to use. And once we’ve bought all that stuff we’ll need a place to store it, leading to a vicious spiral of consumption, debt and waste. Luckily we can escape the dogma of exclusive ownership with a few sensible changes in habit. The solution might be as simple and cost-effective as sharing rides by means of public transit and carpooling, or deciding with your next-door neighbour that you could get away with a single wifi service and snowblower between you. Sharing can also be formalized into institutions like co-housing or credit unions and other co-ops.
In addition to the Imagine Space makerspace in Ottawa Public Library’s Nepean Centrepointe branch, all Ottawa neighbourhoods could benefit from the presence of neighbourhood freecycle centres, maker spaces and tool libraries—namely places designed for communities to share tools, space and expertise. An Ottawa Tool Library is scheduled to open soon at MakerSpace North, 250 City Centre, Bay #208. Ideally such spaces are combined with a workshop and a freecycle centre—i.e. a collection/distribution station where one can donate, pick up or repair such things as clothes, appliances, electronics, furniture and sporting goods. For tips on starting a tool lending library go here.
For existing Ottawa sharing services click on a button below.
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