When it comes to being both frugal and green, product service systems are where it’s at. While websites like FreeCycle and Craigslist keep things in the consumer stream by letting people resell or trade for free, there are other websites that take it a step further, allowing you to rent or borrow, rather than own. Rentalic is one such example, allowing people to rent things from or to each other. But an even cheaper, easier way to go is lending and borrowing. So the latest website to open up is Thingloop.
Thingloop lets you show people what you own, and see what other people own, and then you can ask to borrow or lend out what you have. In a nutshell, it’s like we all live in one big house and anyone can use anything in that house, with permission. Here’s the big idea:
Thingloop just launched in March, and it is already adding new features to the site to make borrowing or lending to friends and neighbors easier. There’s also the ability to add value to items, and Thingloop shows that people are lending each other $13,228.16 worth of stuff already. You can use the valuation to track how much you’re saving by borrowing, and how much you’re helping other people save by lending them your stuff.
Product service systems are an important step to dematerializing our culture, and leaning more on a handful of quality objects shared amoung one another, rather than everyone owning gads of stuff, much of which is poorly made and much of which is rarely used. Companies like Zipcar or City CarShare are great examples, giving people access to wheels only when they need them and radically reducing the number of cars needing to be manufactured. Bike sharing services work similarly. And of course there’s Netflix, making borrowing movies as easy as imaginably possible so that no one needs to each own an individual copy of Inconvenient Truth or Planet Earth. The idea is even spreading to batteries used in developing countries.
In all, services like Thingloop help us all cut costs and carbon footprints, and we love that.
By Jaymi Heimbuch, Planet Green