Monday, June 20, 2011

#26 of 100 Simple Suggestions... Share your possessions

Robert Munsch, Canadian children's writer, has many stories that make me smile, but one of my favourites is We Share Everything (1999, Scholastic Canada, ISBN 0590514490). In it, Amanda and Jeremiah begin Kindergarten with a few fights over books and blocks... until they learn about sharing, and end up wearing each other's clothing, much to the teacher's chagrin!

Sharing is one of those concepts that seems to give human beings a lot of trouble. Childhood egocentrism is a hard thing to shake, and as a result, a lot of us have too many possessions that possess us. But what would happen if our world was a place where sharing was more common than hoarding?

While it's true that we can't share everything, there are plenty of things we can share. Unfortunately, when I did an internet search for "things that can be shared," all I turned up were computer related files, an unfortunate Doritos commercial, and several blogs about things people didn't want to share. So what I'd like to do now is start a list of possessions that can be shared in an effort to encourage the idea that we don't all need to own everything, and hence, have smaller environmental footprints if we share. Here's a list of things in my life that can be shared, and if you think of anything from your life to add to it, just post a comment. I'll post your name with your suggestion if you like.

Maria's list of things that can be shared:

A meal
Garden produce
Public playgrounds
Basketball hoops
Skipping rope rhymes
Bikes (check out the ECOS U of A bike library)
Rides (carpools can be found at
Garden tools
Snow shovels
Apple pickers
Board Games
Card Games
Newspapers and magazines

This is harder than I thought. It's not like I can share my refrigerator or my kitchen chair very easily, unless more people come and live with me. But it makes me happy when I don't have to go out and buy something because someone is willing to lend, or when I can do the same for someone else. I can't help but think that the Hutterites, Mennonites, and other groups like them that subscribe to the idea of holding common goods have much smaller ecological footprints than I do. Sharing just makes a lot of sense when you want to save the earth for future generations.

So... what can I share today?

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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