Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

The tool library: it’s a brilliant concept that embodies the true meaning of the shared economy. At its core, a tool library is a place where civilians can rent or borrow community-owned tools such as hammers and drills instead of having to buy separate tools themselves. Having a tool library in your community is a win-win-win scenario. You get the end result you need, the provider of the services makes a bit of money, and the environment is not under any pressure. Over the years we’ve watched tool libraries come and go, but now they seem to be making a comeback—mainly because people are figuring out ways to manage them properly. One problem with tool libraries is that they require a lot of commitment and management, with volunteers having to sit around to make sure everything runs smoothly. The co-founder of the Vancouver tool library, Chris Diplock, has developed a solution to this problem. This tool haven doesn’t require volunteers and is basically a nicely decorated shipping container filled with useful things. Community members can book items online, then access the container themselves using a code. Once inside, they scan what they need and get to work. If we can get more of these self-contained tool libraries in cities and towns, it will not only spare the environment a bit but also help to foster stronger communities.

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