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Free Tool Hire Scheme At Zero Carbon ‘Cuts Clutter And Waste’

Published on: 2 Dec, 2022
Updated on: 4 Dec, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

One of the things about DIY is having the right tool for the job. But on the other hand, you don’t want to spend a fortune on something you are only going to use once.

Zero Carbon’s new Library of Things scheme may have the answer to that dilemna.

David Carpenter-Lomax and Tom Lashbrooke organised the Library of Things at Zero Carbon in Guildford. “Why buy when you can borrow?”

The Library of Things lets you borrow useful equipment instead of buying it, helping Guildford to “cut down on waste, avoid planned obsolescence, and moves us toward ending the throwaway culture,” says Zero Carbon’s David Carpenter-Lomax, one of the small team at the community space at the bottom of North Street who organised the project.

He said it was the right thing to do environmentally. “Why buy when you can borrow?

“Everyone having a circular saw is a waste. But it also clutters up your home, needs maintaining to keep it it good nick and it costs money. Our scheme is completely free for the hirer and it’s good for the environment.”

It has been said that the average drill is used for between six and 20 minutes during its entire life time. That statistic rings true when I think of many of the tools I have bought to get jobs done around my house.

Ben Kyffin was the first customer at the Zero Carbon Library of Things, borrowing a pressure washer.

By pooling resources and sharing items you may need only two or three times a year or even better, something used only once, the Library of Things “reduces consumption and lowers manufacturing and transport emissions,” said David Carpenter-Lomax.

And the scheme isn’t just tools. The items available also range from gazebos to thermal imaging cameras and  camping equipment.

Zero Carbon has bought some of the hire items new using a National Lottery grant but has had donations as well.

It wants expand what it can offer as well. This will depend on what people want and what is practical. Donations are welcomed but they have to be of good quality and items that people will want to borrow.

The scheme has been running for a few weeks. David Carpenter-Lomax said they are still learning. He said the most popular hire so far was a thermal imaging camera and with sky-high energy prices, people are using the camera to see where they can best improve the insulation of their homes to save money.

Zero Carbon is collaborating with Guildford Library’s similar but separate scheme with the potential to join forces at a later date

You can see all the items for free hire on the Zero Carbon website.

To free hire any of the items, you need to create an account with, book the items online and collect from Zero Carbon.

If you have an item which you think would fit into the Library of Things, you can email info@zerocarbonguildford.org or drop into the centre at 12 to 14 Friary Street, for a chat.

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