Tool library promotes sustainability


Auckland Library of Tools co-creators Amanda Chapman and Tom Greer

Kingsland is home to a new kind of library that inspires its members to do more and own less. It’s a library, but for tools.

Auckland Library of Tools is a new initiative set up by co-creators Amanda Chapman and Tom Greer and is part of a growing trend of not-for-profit organisations that promote sharing and community.

Ms Chapman is building her own tiny house on wheels and was inspired to create this library when she met founder of the Toronto Tool Library Ryan Dyment. 

“He spoke about pooling our resources and everything he said just made sense,” she said.

“I haven’t bought any tools because I know [the tiny house] is just a one off project. I didn’t see the point in buying all these tools when at the end of it I would have a tiny house and nowhere to put anything.”

The tool library works on a membership scheme and members can borrow up to 10 items for a week at a time.

Ms Chapman says a lot of their members seek out the tool library because they either do not have the space or do not see the point in purchasing expensive items for one off projects.

“A lot of our members are young and I think some of that is because people are renting or they’re living in apartments. They don’t have space for stuff, they don’t have an interest in buying tools because they’re going to go travelling or they are going to keep moving around. Or it’s because of money. You can buy a cheap drill for $80 but it’s not going to last very long.”

A large part of Amanda’s motivation for setting up the library stemmed from a desire to help people reduce their waste.

Sustainability Trust community manager Susie Robertson says ‘shared economy’ initiatives like Auckland Tool Library are an important part of sustainability as it is about reusing items.

“Most new items come in non-recyclable packaging so the less new items we purchase the less packaging ends up in landfill.  Every new product uses resources to make it – energy, water, harmful chemicals – so less products equals less carbon emissions.”

Ms Robertson says the other bonus with shared economies is when a product is broken it is more likely the organisation will have the means to fix the product rather than to discard it and get a new one.

Auckland Library of Tools is located at 48C Bond Street, Kingsland and opens on Thursday’s from 5pm – 8pm and Saturday’s from 10:30am – 3:30pm.



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