The City of Sydney launched its C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program in May, with Mayor Clover Moore stating “Climate action is the City of Sydney’s top priority”, as reflected in the City’s 2030 Strategy and Climate Emergency declaration.
Ahead of the Global Climate Strike called for 20 September, the program’s 20 mentees are taking this opportunity to share the vision for each of their projects, and their view on climate activism. The outcomes of their projects will be presented at the global Women4Climate Conference in Sydney in March 2020.
A Library of Things
My vision for a sustainable future is on where sustainable consumption is the norm. If everyone in Sydney buys one less thing this year - a drill, a tent, a vacuum cleaner - and is able to share the ones that already exist, that is five million fewer things that need to be produced.
The sharing economy is a way to make the most of the available resources - reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to social equity and creating more connected and resilient communities.
The Inner West Tool Library (IWTL) opened in January 2019. It is a not for profit, 100% volunteer run community organisation set up to allow residents to access hundreds of tools and useful things you only use once or twice a year. The library includes power tools, garden maintenance items, cleaning equipment, specialty kitchen items, party supplies, sporting goods and outdoor adventure gear.
I started the IWTL with the goal to give resources multiple lives, when often they are bought, shelved and used only once or twice. This reduces waste to landfill while educating the community on how they can reuse, repair and share. The ethos of the IWTL is bringing together the idea of sharing as a way to reduce consumption, save money and build a more connected and resilient community.
Since launching in January we have exceeded our expectations - with 150 members, 200+ donated tools and items, over 600 completed loans and a highly engaged and supportive community. We have saved members on average over $500 each from being able to borrow tools and equipment rather than buying them. We’ve rescued a potential 1.5 tonnes of waste from landfill.
Sharing resources is based on economic efficiency. Many things are underutilised, sitting in the cupboards or sheds gathering dust. Sharing them can unlock their real value.
My project is exploring how the sharing library concept can expand on a more sustainable scale to have a greater impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our increasingly built up cities.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CITIES
Nine out of ten Australians now live in cities. Our current consumption behaviours mean that city dwellers have a higher ecological footprint, and we need to radically rethink how we consume.
Understanding and implementing different ways of accessing the things we need can help reduce our footprint.
I have experienced first-hand the positive impact a small group of people can have. What we do on an individual level is incredibly important, but when we share - knowledge, ideas and resources - we can have collectively significant and positive impact to protect our cities and planet.
There are enough ‘things’ in this world already - lets share the things that already exist.
MY SUPPORT FOR THE GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE
I will be joining the strike on September 20. Together we stand taller and stronger.
“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”