So now let's think about that wheelbarrow I mentioned earlier (or another infrequently used item around your home if you don't have a wheelbarrow) and tell me, when was the last time you used it? And then the time before that? Most of us will likely only use an item like a wheelbarrow once a year, yet we bought one and it sits in the back shed for the other 364 days of the year. Not ideal. Also, did you see the neighbour down the road come home last weekend with a brand new wheelbarrow from the store? Maybe he could have borrowed yours instead for his small once a year job he has.
Ok, maybe it's not a wheelbarrow, maybe it's every type of kitchen appliance known to man you have. The point is, it's not really necessary for everyone to have their own one of everything. There are plenty of items around our homes we use infrequently and could be shared amongst each other when needed.
And if no one you know has the item you require, have a look into hiring the item. You'll soon find that there are many companies out there willing to hire infrequently used items or items that are used for a limited amount of time to you. Things such as baby goods, tools, special occasion dresses, gardening tools, the list is endless and these link to just some companies that do it. There are lots out there for various needs and budgets.
How does this all affect the environment?
Well, let's think about that item around your home you don't use often. And let's think about how that item was manufactured.
How much water was used? How much power? Where were the materials sourced? Are they renewable (ie wood) or is it all plastic? What chemicals were used to create that plastic and what fumes were let into the atmosphere during manufacture? When you really break it down, sometimes the results can be frightening, then you multiply it by sometimes billions to include the manufacture of the same item all around the world and you can very quickly see why we sometimes consume our resources faster than they can be replaced, or 'over-consume'.
The two direct ways in which less consumption would help the environment are:
1. Less pollution created for manufacture.
2. Less trash/landfill left over once it's finished with (it's got to end up somewhere after all).
How you can help?
Consider every purchase you make. Do you really need it? Or can it maybe be borrowed from someone or even hired? Ask yourself how many times you'll use said item for the duration of its life, and if the answer is less than 5, definitely look into sharing or hiring rather than buying.