NeighborGoods

Molly de Aguiar, Program Associate

On my block, there are four houses across the street from us. One of the houses is unoccupied, and the other three each have giant trampolines in their backyards. My husband and I had the same reaction when we realized this – couldn’t our neighbors have bought one trampoline that they all shared?

When I saw this story about NeighborGoods on Re-Nest last week, it made me think of the trampolines.

NeighborGoods

NeighborGoods is a newly-launched online marketplace which encourages people to get more use out of items they – or someone nearby – already own by lending, renting, borrowing, buying or selling stuff among their neighbors.

Why buy a brand new snow blower, when you can rent or borrow one from the neighbor? Why throw away your kid’s bike when you can sell it to the family down the street who wants it? Makes sense, right? And it keeps more trash out of landfills and more money in your pocket. NeighborGoods facilitates these kinds of transactions while also fostering a sense of community and sharing and reminding us that we can live less wasteful lives.

Micki Krimmel is the force behind NeighborGoods. She’s well-known for her Web 2.0 work which focuses on sustainable community development and authentic, participatory community dialogue. She was instrumental in leading interactive media efforts for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and formerly worked as a columnist for WorldChanging.com – a website and its founder Alex Steffen whose work we follow here at Dodge.

Unfortunately for most of us, NeighborGoods is only available for southern California, but I know you can already imagine how useful a site like this would be in your neighborhood. If you’re interested in starting your own neighborhood sharing system, here’s another post from re-nest featuring the book The Sharing Solution, which teaches you how. Shareable is another useful online resource, which covers a wide range of topics about sharing beyond exchanging tangible goods.

If you’re already on Twitter, you can follow Dodge, NeighborGoods, Micki, Alex Steffen, Worldchanging and Shareable. If you’re not, what are you waiting for? Sign up and see what everyone is tweeting about!

3 Responses to NeighborGoods

  1. Michelle Knapik says:

    Molly – love this post! I think Dodge will have to examine it through a Sustainable Jersey program lens http://www.sustainablejersey.com/. I could see developing it as a tool in the Local Economy area, or simply as a rich community builder.
    Free cycle is a related concept, but some times there are “goods” that have high value, or that you are not ready to part with, so Neighborgoods seems to be filling an important gap in terms of the marketplace, as well as community connections. Thanks for highlighting the innovation!

  2. Thanks for posting this, Molly! You’re right that we just launched in Southern California but there is a way for others to get in as well! If you just leave us your email address, we’ll send you an invite code. Once you’re logged in, you can invite all your friends. So you don’t necessarily have to wait until NeighborGoods opens publicly in your area to try it out! As members invite their friends and areas grow organically, it will help us decide where to open up next. Thanks again for this great post, Molly! We appreciate your support.

  3. I know this is silly, but rather than thinking about the merits of sharing equipment (which I think is TERRIFIC), I just kept picturing people bouncing up and down in adjoining backyards. It’s an entertaining thought.

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