The Sharing Economy 101: Share Sheds

Posted on: October 20, 2023

There are many items in people’s homes that sit unused for most of the year, such as a lawnmower, camping equipment, a pasta maker or even a smoke machine.

Our garages and closets become full of rarely used items gathering dust. The Share Shed is an antidote to this expensive, and let’s be honest, wasteful way of living. This community driven initiative offers a sustainable alternative by allowing people to share rarely used items.

What is a Share Shed?

A Share Shed is a “library of things" that community members can borrow for free or by paying a small fee. Instead of borrowing books, you can borrow tools, equipment, kitchen appliances, and other items that you might only need occasionally. The idea is simple yet powerful: by sharing resources we not only reduce waste and save money, but we also build stronger, more connected communities.

Share shed items

Find your local

Presently, there are only a small number of Share Sheds, but that number is growing as the sharing economy takes off.

Share Shed Bassendean

Staff with share shed items

Share Shed Bassendean is free and easy to use. Once you’ve become a member you can browse items, book what you want to borrow and pick it up from the friendly volunteers at a pre-arranged time. You don’t have to live in the City of Bassendean to join, but if you’re not a local, they encourage you to get involved by helping out at their busy bee sessions to become part of the community. 

The Share Shed is free thanks to the generous help of volunteers, donations and a WasteSorted grant.

Tools and Things Leederville

Share shed tools

Tools and Things is one of the first sharing libraries that opened in Perth and they’re a Not for Profit organisation. You need to pay a fee, but your membership period only starts when you borrow your first item.

The fee covers the maintenance of items.

Coming soon

Vic Park Collective Shed

The Collective Shed is growing their library of things that “you’d love to use but don’t need to own”. Their volunteers are working hard to get it ready to open, and if you’re keen on joining, jump on their Facebook page.

Bayswater Women’s Hub Tool Library

Currently under development, the tool library will provide the community with a wide range of equipment to borrow. If you’re in the area and have a DIY project coming up, give them a follow on social media to stay up to date with their launch date.

Other resources

Check with your local council as some, such as City of Swan, are offering a Library of Things

Ask your local Buy Nothing group. You don’t need a dedicated space to jump into the share economy. Ask your neighbour or get involved in your local Buy Nothing community page, Buy Nothing is full of people who like to help and avoid waste.

Why use the sharing economy?

Jumping on board the sharing economy, whether it’s by using a Share Shed or simply lending something to your neighbour, is an easy way to help the planet. Borrowing rather than buying lowers your impact on the environment, saves you money, and helps to build more connected communities.

Keep reading

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Use these 8 ideas to help you cut back on food waste, From smart storage and freezing leftovers find out how you can cut down on your waste.