These Mailbox Stickers Help You Borrow Stuff You Need

If you like the idea of sharing your stuff, and borrowing stuff your neighbors are willing to share, you’re going to love this new project from Switzerland. It’s called Pumpipumpe, and it works by making it easy for people to put stickers on their mailbox to indicate the goods they’re willing to lend.

The idea started when people who had bicycle tire pumps wanted to help out bicyclists who got a flat tire and were stuck without a pump. Since then, it’s expanded into a bigger variety of offerings that include lawn mowers, kitchen scales, children’s toys, clothing, kitchen utensils, power tools, and even Internet access.

Though Pumpipumpe is only operating in Switzerland and Germany right now, there’s no reason why you couldn’t adapt the idea in your own community. Here’s how it works.

Pumpipumpe has printed up a few dozen small square stickers. Each sticker features an image of a common household item. Users order the stickers online, and get them in the mail. There is no cost for the stickers, but there is a small shipping charge.

Once someone receives the stickers, he or she can choose the ones that represent the items they’re willing to lend. The user then affixes those stickers to his mailbox. Anyone walking by can see what that user is willing to lend, and knocks on the door to make the request. Easy peasy!

On their website, the founders of Pumpipume say that they’re trying to promote more conscientious consumption by reducing the need to buy things people could just as easily borrow. They’re also trying to promote more social interactions between neighbors.

In my neighborhood, we use a local list-serv to achieve much the same goals. But for communities where list-servs don’t exist, or in communities where more people need to meet face-to-face, this could be a terrific alternative.

You can get more information on the Pumpipumpe website. Be forewarned that the site is not written in English. But if you speak French, Italian or German, even a little, you’ll be able to appreciate what they’re up to. The pictures and illustrations also help explain how the project works.

Photo Credit: Pumpipumpe


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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Angela K.
Angela K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Warren Webber
Warren Webber4 years ago

Live long and prosper!

heather g.
heather g4 years ago

I like this idea, and also like the idea of 'safe-houses' for children when they are walking to and from school. I tend not to borrow things too regularly. When I've needed to use a garden fork or spade, I've borrowed from a friend. My neighbours and I also share fresh veggies as well.

There are a few unsavoury characters who often walk past my home on their way to the stores. I would never open the door to them. I'm wary of people who abuse drugs and alcohol and people who are very loud - very common in the Wild West!

Georgina Elizab McAlliste
.4 years ago

sounds possible..

Dawn Cline
4 years ago

people helping people it is how it should be! Some library's have baking clubs for people to share baking pans that are generally only needed periodically, also instead of recycling magazines in the recycle bin I take mine down to the VA medical center, or local schools and pass them out, then they can continue to be passed on to as many people as possible.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you

Julia Cabrera-Woscek

We are pretty open people here in US. We should not need stickers. We need social skills and community awareness to reach out to our neighbors and socialize. If you know your neighborhood you shall know what you can lend and borrow from whom... just my opinion.

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago


Dave C.
David C4 years ago

cool, thanks