Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Discovering 'Ecomodo'

In an email newsletter from the 10:10 campaign I got recently, there was a mention and a link to Ecomodo, an online marketplace for lending and borrowing in local communities. I'd never heard of Ecomodo but when I looked at their site, I really liked the ideas behind it. Their aim is to help the individual by encouraging borrowing over buying, to save money, time and space.  If you lend items or services, you can make a bit of money for yourself, or for a good cause and you get the nice feeling of having helped out a friend or neighbour. In a broader spectrum, Ecomodo can help the environment:
Ecomodo wants everyone to maximise the utility of their assets, to reduce the need for wasteful purchases and to get more out of what we already collectively own. It is a reality that we live in a consumer driven society. Our aim is to create a society of socially responsible consumers whilst preserving your quality of life.

As well as using the site on an individual basis and lending and borrowing with anyone, you can also set up or join a 'trusted circle'. This might be a group of people in your street, at the company you work for, parents from the same school or any group of people with a common connection of some sort. Borrowers and lenders then operate just within the circle. I'm thinking of setting up one for the mums group I belong to in my local area. I think it could be really helpful for parents to lend and borrow baby equipment, as well as other household items or whatever.

With the launch of the greatly anticipated Ipad last week, someone from Ecomodo went and bought one for lending to its members. Now, anyone in London can borrow the Ipad from Ecomodo for £18 (1 day) and the money goes to help the Prince's Trust. The Ecomodo blog explains the two points they aimed to illustrate in buying and lending the Ipad:
1. People don’t need to run a marathon to raise money for charity they can simply lend out their assets and help people around them.

2. To inspire people to borrow instead of buying or if they have to buy: Try it first and make sure it’s really what you want to spend your money on.

There's an issue of trust with lending an item and you hope it comes back to you in the same condition as it left. Ecomodo aims to keep the process smooth and reliable for both lenders and borrowers. I think this kind of marketplace provides a positive way to encourage trust among communities, something that is so often missing nowadays.

Had you heard of Ecomodo? What do you think about the system of lending and borrowing - is it something that appeals to you?


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  1. Wow it sounds like a fantastic idea - I'll definitely check it out.

    The system certainly appeals - and for something like baby equipment I think it could work really well... For the iPad... Like you say there may be a danger of damage etc - but nonetheless I think it's an excellent idea, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Thanks Lucy, glad you think it's a good idea too!


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