Archive for June, 2010

every budget has a silver lining ..

June 23, 2010

It’s tempting at budget time to jump straight to the calculators to work out what the effect is for your personal finances. Once you’ve done that, stand back take a broader look and you might see some new opportunities there. Here are 5 we’ve thought of ..

  1. From January 2011 people will buy less because of the VAT increase. An increase in demand for second hand goods is great news for people that use Freegle to get rid of stuff, for those who sell their unwanted things on eBay and for people who use Ecomodo to make money by lending out their seldom used stuff to people who prefer to borrow instead of buy.
    People who bring forward purchases to beat the VAT increase in January 2011 can use Ecomodo to lend out their new stuff, helping others less able to spend, and making back some of the purchase price.
    This renewed interest in the longevity of stuff will also drive a resurgence in repairing which can only be a good thing for the environment and jobs.
  2. Many families will have less disposable income. Don’t fret, it is easy to live a rich life without riches.
    Most families have stuff lying around which can help make up the shortfall through being sold or lent out, and friends, neighbours and colleagues probably have most of the skills, spaces and stuff they need to achieve their goals for far less money.
    Ecomodo can reveal these possibilities in a community.
  3. Charities and other good causes will find it harder to convince people to part with their hard earned cash.
    There is an ever increasing set of innovative ways to continue to donate without taking money out of your pocket. Charities can raise funds from entirely new sources such as web searching, exchanging currencies and community resource lending.
  4. With pay freezes and the national insurance increase, morale in communities and workplaces will be low. People will feel blue. But there are some reasons to feel good.
    Times like these make us find other ways to achieve our goals by making better use of the resources around us. If that ends up bringing communities together and reducing our environmental impact that is a good thing.
  5. Budget cuts across Government departments are likely to impact environmental and social projects. The onus moves to communities and citizens to work together to make a difference creating the Big Society. Will the emergency budget really kick start Big Society?

Meriel Lenfestey, co-founder of Ecomodo believes strongly in society’s ability to adapt. “The rise in social enterprise and community focus places everyone in good stead for the years ahead. Society and attitudes will need to change… but for the good. Good for pocket, good for planet and good for people“.

Come and join Ecomodo today ..


mr osborne .. can we borrow your briefcase ?

June 21, 2010

Budgets don’t need to be all about higher costs, cutbacks, abolishing hopes and dreams. We think we’ve found a magic way to cut back expenditure BUT STILL deliver more.

We are slashing our budgets by 80%… but we plan to live 150%.


Holidays: Instead of spending £250 on a set of camping gear for the weekend away, spend £50 borrowing it from people around you and discover a common interest in rockclimbing with Stephanie from work.

Home : Reduce the cost of making those shelves from £200 for tools, down to £40, and pick up some great tips from Geoff the handyman down the road.

Hobbies: Try out jewellery making before rushing out to buy the wrong tools in excitement. Save yourself £100 in the process and learn far more than the books had taught you from Steve the guy down the road who did a course in silversmithing… Who knew!

After factoring in similar reductions in party, visitors, spring cleaning, special events and all other allowances we find that we’ve saved nearly £1000 and a whole load of embodied carbon. We have lived a richer life, we have new friends and we’ve got the jobs done faster and better.

Look at all the items you can borrow today on Ecomodo, and post a wanted ad for anything you don’t find.


Shed: We will be increasing income from seldom used tools and gear from £0 to £100.

Loft: We will source a new income from the dusty stuff in the loft of £150.

Me: It turns out I’m worth £150 and few beers in advice to get neighbours online and keep them there.

Everywhere else: Looking in all cupboards, under the beds, in the kitchen, in the garage and in the self storage unit it seems that we have an income of £500 waiting to be discovered, an unmeasurable amount of social equity and once again many friends to be made. Be inspired about what you can lend with our suggestions.

It seems that if all the parents at my son’s school do this and donate only 10% of their new income the school could make an extra £15k. If this money is donated to charity we will do some giftaidery pokery and magic it into even more. Find out more about fundraising on Ecomodo.

This is a modern day alchemy.

do the green thing ..

June 17, 2010

What better day than Green Britain Day to Do The Green Thing !

The Green Thing Trust has become our latest good cause to choose to donate to when lending out your assets. They’ve become a friend of ecomodo and invited us to write a guest entry on Green Thing’s Blog.

If you’ve not heard of Green Thing, it is a not-for-profit public service that inspires people to lead a greener life. With the help of brilliant videos and inspiring stories from creative people and community members around the world. My personal favourite is a Gusty and Ford.

a sunny day in camden ..

June 7, 2010

A special ecomodo thanks goes out to all the organisers and volunteers for putting together such a superb day at the Camden Green Fair yesterday in Regents Park, London. It was wonderful to hang out in the sunshine and thanks to all the visitors that took time to stop and chat. Like me, they were all very glad the weather forecast was wrong with just a few spots of rain to cool us down.

image borrowed: Chas Wilshere, a great guy I met at Hackney Green Drinks

lets start fundraising ..

June 1, 2010

It’s simple to fundraise through and it takes hardly any time to do it, just lend out your assets to the people around you.

First, think about all the stuff around home that you don’t use that often, take a photo and list it on our web-site. Once listed, you then sit back and wait until a borrower in your area needs it. Then arrange a time to collect and return and at the end of the transaction you will have raised money for your good cause! If you have a skill or space you can also lend those too. Anyone can do it and it’s so much easier than running 26+ miles. Not sure what to lend? Get inspired.

Good causes on Ecomodo can be any not-for-profit group (from a registered charity, school PTA or community campaign). And though we have 30 good causes registered we are always looking for more.

If there’s a good cause you would like to donate to and it’s not on our list below, then please make a suggestion and we will try to sign them up.

Here’s a list of our good causes to date ..

3rd Guernsey Scout Group, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, Cambodian Communities out of Crisis, Care for Children, Children Walking Tall, DARE uk, Earthwatch Institute, Environmental Justice Foundation, Exercise Tiger Trust, Fanconi Hope Charitable Trust, Food4Macc, FoodCycle, Forces Childrens Trust, Group B Strep Support, Guernsey Climate Action Network, International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals, Islamic Aid, Lemon Aid Limited, Millennium Health Microscope Foundation, Positive Action in Housing Ltd, Puriton Horse and Animal Rescue, Scope, St Martin’s School PTA, The Book Bus Foundation, The Fostering Network, The National Autistic Society, The National Society for Epilepsy, The Prince’s Trust, Thrive Africa, UK Youth

Or if you run a charity or not-for profit group then register it for free on Ecomodo. Read more about the benefits and how to get involved.

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