I've been thinking recently about how much Graham and I borrow (and lend).

Borrowing and lending is something we do a lot of in our group of friends. We’re all useful for something, bags, books, yoga equipment... Graham and I are well known for our spare room packed full of camping, hiking, sailing, swimming, golf and cycling equipment. A friend once described us as a Library of Things! (I really don’t know how these minimalists do it.)

Why buy new when you could borrow? Especially if it’s for a one off occasion. We live in a culture where borrowing is rare, and if we need anything we always feel we need to go and buy our own... Why?

To help you on your way to borrowing, I’ve put together some information on various lending libraries nearby

1. Glasgow Tool Library

Currently still in development, the Glasgow Tool Library hopes to open in the Speirs Lock area in the North of Glasgow, so watch this space!


2. Southseeds Tool Library

Right here in Glasgow, South Seeds have just started up a Tool Library and already have around 100 tools to borrow. To become a member you must live in the G41 or G42 post codes. They pop up in different locations around the Southside once a month.

They are also reliant on tool donations, so if you have anything lying around that you’re not using, get in touch with them!


3. Edinburgh Tool Library

This is the UK’s first Tool Library (Inspired by a trip to Toronto!). To become a member they ask for a donation, this is based on what you can afford. They also accept tools as the donation. With over 500 tools ready to borrow, head to their website to find out more and join up.


4. Greener Kirkcaldy Library of Things

Over in Fife we have another Tool Library Tools will be available to borrow on a weekly basis, Saturday to Saturday, by prior arrangement. Just pop into the High Street Hub with 2 forms of ID – 1 photographic and 1 proof of address, and you’ll be able to start borrowing. They are also looking for donations so get in touch if you have any spares.


5. The Ecology Centre Tool Library

And why not check out the Tool Library at The Ecology Centre. This fantastic service uses tools that have been donated, saved from landfill and refurbished by our Tool Shed volunteers. When you join you will need to pay a £10 membership fee, which will give you access to their tool library for one year.


Of course when it come to books glasgow has an amazing network of public libraries, I use them for most of my reading requirements and find they have what you need about 95% of the time. You can easily browse their catalogue of books online and request them to be delivered to the library of your choice. Best of all it’s completely free!

The Zero Waste movement can sometimes be described as 'too expensive’ for most to join in. But really, borrowing, reusing and repurposing is the basis of the movement. Sharing and borrowing can save us a fortune as well as at least slowing down the items journey to landfill and saving the energy that would be required to make another one. Beat consumerism. Beat clutter. Borrow!

Fancy starting your own? Recycle for Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland have created a handy document to help you get going.