We’re a big believer in communities as the backbone of society – whether they’re comprised of your neighbours, online acquaintances, or people with a shared interest. And as consumer waste reaches unprecedented levels, Sharing Shed Melbourne marries the ideas of good old-fashioned community spirit and sustainability.
Think of it as a library for tools and household items, rather than books. Tents instead of Tolstoy. Drills instead of Dickens.
With the convenience of internet shopping and fast-manufacturing, it’s easier than ever to buy stuff we don’t really need, use it once, then bin it or stash it away. Sharing Shed Melbourne asks us to resist the allure of one-click shopping, and to borrow and donate instead of buy and bin.
Located in Melbourne, Australia, Sharing Shed enables us to live increasingly waste free lives – whilst learning new skills and feeling involved with a community we may have never joined otherwise.
Donated items are loaned or hired out when you need them, cutting down waste heading for landfill, and helping reduce unnecessary manufacturing for manufacturing’s sake. Need to put a shelf up but don’t have the tools? Rather than buying a brand new drill that you’ll only use once and then chuck in a drawer, why not just borrow one instead?
Rather than buying a brand new drill that you’ll only use once and then chuck in a drawer, why not just borrow one instead?
It’s not just tools that Sharing Shed specialises in – there’s a full wish list on the website that members can fill in, letting Sharing Shed know what’s needed by the community. Perhaps you fancy turning your hand to a new hobby but don’t want to go all-in on equipment costs? Or you want to go camping with the family but don’t own a tent? Sharing Shed will help you as best as they can.
“…We’d like to see a world where goods are made to last, made from reused or re-manufactured materials wherever possible, easily repaired and happily shared; and where we value and share our skills, talents and knowledge to build stronger communities and a healthier environment” say the Shed team. And we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
But donating old and barely used items so others can get good use out of them is only scratching the surface. You’re helping your neighbour today, but in the long run you’re helping reduce waste and save the planet.
And if you’ve got no items to donate, then donate your time, your skills, or expertise instead. Although items are distributed via Sharing Shed, knowledge and skills are also in demand and volunteers are always wanted.
Sharing Shed runs in conjunction with the Melbourne branch of Repair Cafe, an initiative which encourages and promotes repairs and re-use over simply chucking away and starting again. Like the old saying goes: ‘teach someone to fix a bookcase and they’ll never buy a rubbish mass-produced one that will last six months before falling apart again…’ OK, that’s not a real saying – but the sentiment’s there. Let’s turn ‘make do and mend’ from an old cute slogan into a mantra to live by and take pride in.
So if something’s collecting dust in your house, don’t bin it – send it to Sharing Shed. And, who knows, you might pick up a new skill or two in the process.