6 posts tagged Our members
Meet Cate. Cate is a craft working, creative loving person who is all about community living in Melbourne. She runs Green Renters and is all about sustainability too. And this is her Open Shed story.
What inspired you to start using Open Shed?
I have a lot of things I use periodically through craft and creative work. I initially got my badge maker for example because at the time I was doing much more creative work and thought it would be great tool for green activism. Now that we’re running Green Renters, a lot our spare time for creative pursuits has has fallen by the wayside but I thought it didn’t seem right to just have it lie around. Open Shed seemed attractive as it seemed more formal than other sharing options. As it is a business it had the things that gave me peace of mind- like payment for rental and bond, so you know someone else is going to take the rental seriously. I thought my badge maker could be used by small businesses, bands and fellow green activitists and creative people, so that’s why I listed it.
What is it about collaborative consumption that appeals to you?
I am a real fan of collaborative consumption because it helps you to share things with your community, to build friendships and connections through the things you own, it helps in reducing waste and it generally fits your lifestyle and life’s timetable because you can get what you need when you need it. This isn’t just about neighbourhoods either. You can lend things across your work place, community groups, sports clubs, friends and other associations and not have that situation where the book you lend never comes back or you can’t remember who you gave it to because it has a way of tracking things. It’s got the benefit of being taken seriously enough that you know what is required and is less formal than other arrangements which means you have to make less of a commitment financially to participate. And it connects people through a shared ethos.
What I really like about Open Shed and similar sorts of things is it gives people a tangible way to really do something positive for the environment and to support our own environmental ethos. There are a lot of people out there who are really seeking to help the environment and do something positive, to see results and to feel part of the solution. Things like Open Shed and movements like collaborative consumption put that enthusiasm and desire for action into play with truly tangible consequences.
What kinds of things have you listed on Open Shed?
Right now I have only listed my badge maker, but it is already proving quite popular. The next thing I will be listing is my sewing machine and my Green Renters partner Chris will be listing his drum kit. We thought we might be able to offer lessons to go along with it too and see how that goes.
What do you say to people that worry about things like stuff being damaged?
At some point it becomes a question of trust and goodwill towards other people. But also Open Shed treats this like a business transaction. You have a level of formality in how things are transacted, that is backed up by Terms and Conditions, a bond and other protections that gives you the freedom from any real major concerns.
What kinds of adventures would you like to see your items go on?
I would love for my items to go on positive, creative, crafty adventures where they help make things, help bands promote themselves, help with activism and getting messages out there and to protest the bad and help the good. It’d be great to see the things we put on Open Shed in the future help to educate people, help them learn how to play the drums or sew and to create a sense of moving people towards actively participating in sustainability and sharing their creative side.
If you could hire anything in the world off Open Shed, what would it be and why?
I think they’d fall into two categories. Something really over the top and fun to share with my friends like a hot tub and on the other side, a tool desk to be able to do some really useful and practical things.
Why do you think it’s better to share then buy?
Firstly, we currently live in a society where the amount of stuff we have accrued denotes our success and I believe this truly needs to be challenged.
Secondly, the modern day renter just doesn’t have the space to have a lot of things lying around not being used, stored away and gathering dust. By sharing these things we own we make them more functional as items and we help other people to avoid clutter and make the best use out of them. We give them more purpose through making use of them better.
Finally, people want ways to live more sustainably. They genuinely care about their impact and doing positive things and sharing stuff with people is another way of giving people a real way to make a change for the better.
Cate and her magical badge maker can be found here. The Green Renters team are considering purchasing another badge maker for Sydney so if you think you would like to see it listed on Open Shed, please let Cate know below. Finally, if you are in Melbourne and you have a hot tub sounds like you should start a conversation with Cate!