Nailing down Revelstoke’s first tool library

Plans for a tool library are in the works for Revelstoke.

This article first appeared in print in the January 2019 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. It was part of our January Green Issue supplement, which featured stories with an environmental focus.

By Kate Borucz

Borrowing from a library of things is a convenient way for consumers to get access to the things they need without the price tag or the clutter of purchasing brand new, all the while lessening their environmental footprint. When we think about the rare earth minerals, materials and other resources that get used up in the process of making and distributing tools, it seems like a colossal waste to have every house on the block or unit in a building storing a drill that is only needed for occasional use. Not to mention the waste of money and space in our homes involved in purchasing and storing such items.

According to research conducted on tool usage, the average drill is used for 13 minutes in its usable lifespan. The rest of the time it sits unused in the basement, garage, or storage unit.

Now imagine if that same drill was available for rent on a daily or weekly basis to help you complete a small task such as putting up that shelf your partner has been nagging you about, or building your own raised garden bed, or installing a sleeping platform in the back of your Chevy Astro, because #VanLife is a thing.

Tool libraries have been popping up all over North America and have been laying a good foundation for people interested in a sharing economy, freeing them from having to purchase things to own, opting to encourage sharing within their communities. Building on that, tools aren’t the only things that could be put up for short term rent – camping gear, event supplies, sports equipment, gardening tools, board games, the limit does not exist!

The North Columbia Environmental Society (NCES) and Revelstoke Local Food Initiative (LFI) are already offering their members access to kitchen supplies for rent, available at Big Mountain Kitchen & Linen. Things like canning supplies, cherry pitters, food dehydrators are available to help you live more sustainably.

The NCES received funding from the Columbia Basin Trust to help make this dream a reality, but there are obstacles to get through such as location, materials acquisition, insurance, and staffing (problems we’ve been chiselling away at). We’re labelling this project as “under construction” for the time being, but you can expect to see developments in early 2019.

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.