Archive for July, 2010

Is borrowing is the new buying ?

July 30, 2010

With the opening of Barclays Cycle Hire this morning we see a new era in satisfying our occasional needs and desires through rental rather than ownership.

At 06:00 London’s bike sheds were open for business. TFL and Barclays have joined forces to create a brand new cycle hire service for London. Boris has referred to the early customers as pioneers.

Ecomodo is another new online service which encourages Londoners to borrow instead of buying for the benefit of the environment, their pockets and their communities.

Ecomodo enables individuals to lend or borrow virtually anything, directly from each other. Items lent have included lawnmowers, tents, golf clubs, inflatable mattresses, digital projectors and tools. Ecomodo enables members to list their items to lend and see what others have on offer. Items can be lent for free, or lenders are able to charge for an item, and choose if they want to keep the fee or make a donation to a charity.

The founders were inspired to create Ecomodo after reading that the average power drill gets used for 12 minutes in its life, and after considering the range of similarly seldom used items which collect dust in the closets, lofts and sheds of homes across the country. The team researched the barriers that stopped neighbours and friends from lending. As a result Ecomodo has some clever features to let people lend and borrow with confidence. Individuals can set up lending circles around any type of community (street, neighbourhood, school, faith centre workplace, council, charity, community group or club) and invite people to pool their resources for the common good. People can use their circles to restrict their lending and choose to take a deposit or insurance for extra peace of mind.

Meriel Lenfestey, co-founder of Ecomodo applauds the arrival of a cycle hire scheme to London, and adds, “For many occasions in life such as throwing parties, doing DIY, going on holiday or getting a job done, we need tools and equipment for just a short period. It is wasteful and expensive to consume more and more when there is a far better alternative on our doorsteps. Ecomodo lets you see into your neighbours’ closets!”

Borrowing is the new buying .. Ecomodo joins TFL and Barclays in encouraging Londoners to be pioneers in this new consumer landscape.


pioneers of collaborative consumption ..

July 29, 2010

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have been charting the rise of collaborative consumption – the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities. They think we are pioneers! Read our interview.

50 lending circles ..

July 28, 2010

Horray ! We now have 50 lending circles around the UK. That’s 50 little seeds growing in different communities and a whole bunch of people starting to share their stuff.

Our pioneering members have started ..

  • 34 neighbourhood circles for streets, villages, towns, transition towns, local food growers or freegle groups
  • 4 workplace circles: 3 offices including HSBC and a business network
  • 4 circles for parents: 3 school PTAs and a NCT group
  • 2 council circles in Brent and Cheltenham
  • 2 special interest circles: a dress circle and one for kitesurfing
  • 2 charity circles
  • 1 university circle for students and staff
  • and a circle for a scout group .. Phew!

Our most northern circle is Transition Town Merkinch near Inverness in Scotland and most southern is Jerbourg in Guernsey

Here’s a little more about circles ..

Circles are groups of people with something in common. Ecomodo uses these common connections to bring people together to form Lending Circles. As a member of Ecomodo you can join circles that have already been set-up or create your own and invite others to join you. You can belong to as many circles as you like to fit your life, the people and the communities you connect with.

Here’s 3 good reasons to join or create a lending circle ..

1. gain access and control ..

At the heart of every lending circle is a real local community based on common connections. Member profiles reveal common connections and can help you feel more comfortable about who you are lending to or borrowing from. As a lender, you can use your circles to automatically control who can request to borrow your stuff and on the flip side joining circles will give you more access to the more things you need.

2. they’re tailor-made ..

Each circle can be customised to fit every community. The circle administrator can set their own rules to determine who should or can join. They can create an identity by adding a logo with description and choose to promote a good cause for circle members to donate to.

3. spot the opportunities ..

Lending circles make it easy for you to spot opportunities from your immediate community. They make visible the things you can borrow to save you money and open up new possibilities. They also highlight to what other’s around you need to borrow and how you can help them by lending your stuff.

Find our more about lending circles.

beyond recycling ..

July 12, 2010

Mrs Gill Hickman, a teacher from Ringwood School school in Hampshire initiated a fantastic one day event for local students from four secondary schools to learn how to go ‘beyond recycling’. When invited, Ecomodo was more than delighted to join in the fun and impart a little re-use wisdom along the way.

The purpose of the day was to further the environmental sustainability agenda for each participating school and build awareness of initiatives in sustainability beyond the educational community.

In true Ecomodo fashion, The New Forest District Council lent out space at Appletree Court to host the event and gave terrific support to the organising teachers and staff to pull-off a thought-provoking event for students and staff alike.

Launched by Alan Lovell, the Present Hampshire High Sheriff, with his illustrated lecture on Al Gore’s ‘An inconvenient Truth’, the day continued with talks and activities from contributors including 10:10, Southampton University and Footprint Friends.

I talked to students about embodied carbon and waste prevention (through borrowing instead of buying) but I think they were more excited by the ability to get their hands on some extra Wii controllers, to test drive a bicycle or play with an ipad just for the weekend.

Ecomodo was part of the ‘Beyond Recycling’ marketplace and were amongst good friends such as: the New Forest Food Challenge, an NF Transition Town initiative; the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust creating seed pots with students to grow wild flowers; the New Forest National Park talking about climate change; the Hampshire Coppice Craftsmans Group demonstrating some wonderful wood carving and The Portsmouth Sustainable Energy and Climate Change centre discussing renewable energies in the home.

Students attended from Ringwood, Priestlands, Mountbatten and Hounsdown Schools and regardless of the heat went home with lots new to think about. I’m looking forward to checking out their school reports.

your shed : everyone’s treasure trove

July 4, 2010

Is your shed a haven or just the place to hoard a heap of stuff? Whatever the answer, this week it’s time for a bit of shed love.

For those who haven’t heard of National Shed Week, it’s an annual event in it’s fourth year that brings together “Sheddies” from around the world to show off their sheds and compete for the coveted “Shed of the year” award amongst other things. The competition, run by Readersheds covers sheds of all shapes and sizes and this year’s entries include workshops, eco-sheds, summerhouses and pubs. And if like me, you’re a fan of Dr. Who there are even Tardis sheds.

At we love sheds. Sheds are full of all sorts of lovely things that are very useful but unfortunately may not get used too often. But now you can make your shed become the treasure trove of your neighbourhood.

Using you can lend out everything in your shed to the people that live nearby.  You can choose to lend for free, to make some extra cash for yourself, or fundraise for a charity or good cause.

If your shed contains: DIY or garden tools, ladders, kayaks, bikes, tents, spare chairs or even kid’s stuff in storage for the 2nd born to grow into; then lend it out and help others save money by borrowing instead of buying the things they don’t need often.

You can also choose to lend the shed itself and help someone out with a bit of temporary storage, to fix up a bike, or complete a woodworking project. Or share your “sheddie” skills and lend a hand to someone nearby.

OK. I know what you are thinking. “I’m not sure I feel comfortable lending out my stuff”.

If you are a little concerned about lending your stuff, Ecomodo can help you lend with confidence. You can set up a lending circle for your friends, neighbours, work colleagues or people you know from a local club or pub and invite them to join. You can then choose to lend your stuff to everyone or just people in your lending circles. Alongside this you can opt to take deposits or insurance for extra peace of mind.

Lots of people in the UK are already opening up their sheds for the common good and starting to lend hedge cutters, lawnmowers, jet washers, shears and strimmers to name a few.

So whether your shed is the pride of your household or just a depository for your stuff, let’s get your shed earning its keep. This week, show a your shed a little shed love and spend some time sifting it. Take a photo of anything you think would be useful for someone else to use, and add it to lend on

So .. what’s in your shed?

get prepared for the big lunch!

July 2, 2010

Ecomodo has teamed up with The Big Lunch to help everyone get what they need to make their party go with a swing. Find out more.

Kick-started last year by The Eden Project, The Big Lunch is a one-day get together with your neighbours to eat, chat and have fun. It can be anything from a simple lunch to a full-blown street party with DJs and a hog roast. So this Sunday 18th July, why not hang out with your neighbours and chat whilst chomping on some chips and dips.

Whatever you need: a music system, games to play or extra tables and chairs; a helping hand to cook, make decorations, organise or clear up; or even a space to hold your Big Lunch: Ecomodo can help. Post a wanted ad to tell people around you what you’re looking for.

Need to raise some extra cash for food and drink? Rally your troops and get your neighbours lending all their assets and ask them to donate any profits to you. Ecomodo lets people lend almost anything so register your Big Lunch as a good cause, add some items to lend and start fundraising today. Search your shed and attic and get inspired for things to lend.

And at the end of the day, after the last sausage roll has gone and the bunting is coming down, keep your Big Lunch day alive by lending and borrowing throughout the year. Create a lending circle for your neighbourhood and get everyone, new friends and old to start pooling their assets for the common good.

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