Sharing stuff is coming back. The main reason for that might be the economic crisis, but also the knowledge of so much stuff on our planet might raise awareness. After I finished my studies I lived on a kibbutz in Israel for 6 months. Besides the fact that it was a life-changing experience in itself, I also experienced the sharing of stuff. The system of kibbutz-life in a nutshell: community life, every person gets the same no matter the skills or responsibility of the job he or she does, all decisions are made by all, facilities are for everybody. All work which is necessary, like laundry, kitchen, education, building, agriculture, childcare, maintenance, management etc is done by a member of the community. It's faded, this kind of life. Through the years people wanted more if they had more responsibility, they wanted money to go out into the 'real world', they wanted more privacy and really live with their kids. Understandable. Salaries, possession and privacy are the norm now. So now it's mainly living within the community and sharing stuff that still exists. Cars, tools, landscape, schools, medical service, leisure equipment, laundry service et cetera. That's great, and very 21st century.
images from the kibbutz website
I read about a man here in The Netherlands, Martin Hietkamp, who told the newspaper Trouw:" I live in a neighbourhood in which every household has a garden. On summer evenings from every shed a lawn mower was taken to mow the tiny pitch of grass. It made me think why don't we share those tools?". Clever thinking, it's indeed ridiculous. So he set up a website for that. And there are many more. The amount of stuff we all own and hardly use is amazing. So these initiatives are very important. First to reduce the amount of stuff, and also to enhance the sense of community.
The story of stuff is a great website, it shows some interesting processes.
Also spullendelen.nl / hurenvandeburen.nl / peerby.com
It's going on all over the world, and worth diving into!