When you were in elementary school and forgot your notebook, what would you do? Rush off to the store to purchase another one or turn to the kid sitting next to you and ask to borrow a sheet of paper? Most likely you borrowed. For children, the concept of borrowing something is incredibly intuitive.  If you’re missing something, but you see another person has what you need, you simply ask for assistance. You most likely did it in an “I owe you” fashion. Should your seated neighbor be without a certain pencil or crayon in the future, you would undoubtedly pony up your extra to lend them a helping hand.

So what happens to this concept as an adult? We tend to be less willing to ask to borrow simple items. Whether it’s for fear of someone thinking you are irresponsible for not already having it on hand, or that you would be looked down upon for being unable to purchase the item yourself, many people have issues with borrowing.

Avoid the Packaging

But before you head off to purchase that one-off item, consider the environmental impact of your ego. Borrowing items can be one of the best ways to go green. Consumer product packaging accounts for a large portion of landfill waste. Every person who purchases a brand new grill, drill set, punch bowl, or baby crib will be contributing heavily to waste with just the packaging. This does not even include the discarding of the item when used.

Save Money & Wasted Space

Before purchasing a product consider how often you will use it. If this is a special occasion and you are wanting a beautiful punch bowl to serve your guests will the purchase of a new punch bowl be justified? If you plan on having a party every weekend it may be. However, if this is a one time event, consider borrowing a bowl from a friend or neighbor. You will be cutting down on space, waste and saving a nice sum of money.

Consider Outside Your Circle

If you don’t know anyone personally with a punch bowl, there are a number of websites set-up to help you find someone who is loaning out an item you are wanting to secure. Some of my favorite borrowing sites are snapgoods.com, goodsharing.com and neighborrow.com. You can also try Craigslist. You can post an ad stating what it is that you are looking to borrow and you can even name a rental price for the item to give people a little extra incentive to allow you to use their item.

It may go against your normal behavior, but borrowing can be one of the best things you can do to easily green up. Some common items that are great for borrowing are:

  • Tools
  • Baby Items
  • Special Dinnerware Items
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Gardening Tools

When it comes to borrowing just remember that you must treat the item as if it were your own. Should you damage the item you need to be prepared to replace it.

What items have you borrowed in the past?