Why is that we are all so concerned with “owning” things? I believe it has something to do with past generations needing to hoard food and other products in order to survive…but somehow we have turned hoarding into an art form and we now buy and keep everything! I truly believe that renting or borrowing everything you possibly can not only saves money but also reduces the amount of waste (both in plastic packaging, etc. and shipping costs) that we generate in our every day lives. Sure, you are probably not going to rent furniture or cookware, but why not rent the things that you don’t need to own or will only use occasionally?
DVD’s are probably one of the best things that we can all get away with renting or borrowing, as rarely will any of us watch a movie more than once. Some people I know buy DVD’s every week when they get released, just to put them on a shelf and display them in their homes. This makes no sense to me, as each DVD costs between $10-$20 and will probably just sit there for years after being watched the first time! That’s why services like Blockbuster and Netflix are so great, because for the price of buying one DVD a month, you can watch unlimited movies and not have to build shelving units to store your clutter around the house. Plus, DVD’s get reused over and over again by all their customers, so less of them need to be made and shipped in the first place.
And for the women out there, do you go through purses several times a year? Why not just rent those high-end bags for a few months at a time instead of buying new ones every time fashion changes? Companies like Bag Borrow Or Steal specialize in renting expensive and fancy purses, bags, sunglasses, and jewelry so that women can always have the latest and greatest while not having to buy new products every couple of months. I know a lot of women could care less about the bag they carry (the one my wife uses now is made of hemp), but for those of you who do, you might want to check them out.
Tired of buying baby clothes and supplies every few months as your baby gets bigger? Tired of doing it again and again for your second or third baby? German company Lutte Leihen might be on to something, as they rent packages of baby clothes: ” LÃ¼tte rent leases and provides you with everything your child the first 6 months of clothing needs. The basic package: Body and pajamas and to 9 – to 11-piece clothing sets.” Seems it would be a good business idea for someone here in the States, no?
And what about tools for around your house? Do you really need to go buy your own Caterpillar tractor for tilling your 6X10 garden, or will renting a small roto-tiller do the job? How often do you need to pave your driveway? Dig post holes? Renting these type of of items not only saves space in your garage, but also reduces the amount of products that need to be built to being with.
And finally, do not forget about your local library. From books to CD’s to DVD’s to Magazines, everything is available for you to take home and use for a few weeks – for zero cost. Libraries are one of the greatest ways to cut expenses and cut waste, and we have been as many of our books from there as possible. I have not been to our new library yet, as I don’t have my new driver’s license yet, but it is right around the corner from our house and I am sure we will be visiting it quite often.
So what kind of things would you guys add to the list? Is there anything else that maybe the renting of would be better than the buying of? I know real estate would make that list in certain towns only, so I left it off the list. But what do you guys think about other ideas?
Photo by Editor B