The increasing popularity of the sharing economy in recent years has given communities a way to both pool their resources and get to know each other. Most recently, we wrote about Switzerland’s Pumpipumpe scheme, which enables homeowners to display the goods they have to share through mailbox stickers. Now, The Kitchen Library is Canada’s first non-profit lending library dedicated to short-term rentals of cooking equipment.
Working out of the Toronto Tool Library, the Kitchen Library aims to work much like a regular library, acting as a community resource for home chefs. Members can gain access to the library for USD 50 a year — roughly the cost of one mid-range appliance — which grants them access to items such as mixers, juicers, pasta makers, and even ice cream makers. Each appliance can be borrowed for 5 days, after which users must return it washed and cleaned. The space is also being used to offer cooking and baking workshops to members. This way consumers can get familiar with the equipment and help each other prepare recipes.
The Kitchen Library lowers the barrier for consumers who want to eat healthier and cook at home more often by giving them low-cost access to otherwise expensive equipment. Are there other types of specialist equipment and tools that could be made accessible through the sharing economy model?