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Buy Less – Share, Rent & Hire Instead


There are many items which we buy for a few uses and then they get stored away, but what if we were to create a place where people can rent or hire items when they need it?  Anna Rowan Dunstan is one of the early members of Torbay Climate Action and she is pioneering this approach in the Bay along with community organisations such as Torbay Sharing Circle. 

“We want to set up a really extensive library of things that people keep ‘just in case’ (book press, fruit-picking ladder, sailmakers palm) as well as items that people only use occasionally (dehydrator, cargo bike, bunting, tent, tailor’s ham, pressure canner, litter-picking gear, tea urn) and the ones they already expect to be able to hire (carpet cleaner, dehumidifier, floor sander, power drill) plus some more ambitious items that lots of people would love to have access to (electric van) and incorporating a toy library.

The idea is that items would range from free to borrow to low-cost. We would want paid staff (we’re keen on a workers’ Co-op) as well as volunteers who can repair people’s own items as well as maintain the hire shop. We’d love to encourage people to give their items to the community on the basis that it would be a non-profit they could always borrow their own donated items for free and that if it was ever disposed of it would be offered back to the donor first.

We want it to be accessible by vehicle, but with items being available with a suitable hand trolley so that it’s as easy as possible to borrow even large things without a car.”

What Next?
Developing a proposal for a “hire shop/share shed with items that people in the Bay would want to hire.

How you can help:

Do you have knowledge in the rent and hire business which you can share with us?

Contact Anna on Facebook: Torbay Climate Action or via email:

Library of things
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