Introducing Streetbank: a new tool for rethinking resources by Rob Hopkins for TransitionNetwork.org introduces Sam Stephens, the founder of Streetbank and tells the story of this sharing initiative.
Streetbank is a non-profit website that takes into inventory the skills and items neighbors are willing to share with each other.
It started in Sam’s neighborhood when he borrowed a pint of milk, but in the UK Streetbank has grown a “community of over 34,000 people sharing their things and skills”. There are other communities that have been using Streetbank in other positive ways, like to donate laptops to children and getting together to clean up an elderly lady’s garden.
Sam Stephen says, “We find that once we start talking to our neighbors, you realize that there are things that you have and ways that you can help other people that that you didn’t realize. Through local connections and small scale actions, we’re seeing positive changes to communities and it’s exciting.”
The small actions we take every day are very powerful because over time they form our habits and our character. Neighborhood sharing seems like a great idea, but I suppose something like Streetbank works best when you live in a supportive and open-minded neighborhood.
Building relationships with our neighbors the old analogue way of talking in person is always a good place to start, but once you are already friendly then Streetbank seems like a great way to keep information organized and easily accessible for everyone in the neighborhood.
Does your neighborhood or community participate in any kind of sharing? If not, can you share any ideas you might have to encourage sharing in your neighborhood?