Chiswick People Urged To Cut Back On Spending

Streetbank wants locals to share more goods and resources


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A local social enterprise group has called on people in Chiswick to think about how they can save money by sharing goods and resources, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

Over 300 Chiswick residents have signed up to Streetbank, which aims to help people save money by sharing anything from sports gear to cooking lessons and language help.

The group, which is based in West London has 18,000 members globally and one-sixth of its UK members live in W4.

Streetbank has urged pople to support Buy Nothing Day tomorrow. (Nov 24). The BND campaign wants people to keep away from credit cards and wallets for 24 hours and challenge themselves to switch off from spending.

A Streebank spokesperson said ; “We've calculated that our members as a whole currently save £11,880 per month by belonging to Streetbank - bills, rent and food aside, you could live almost entirely for free by using the site.”

"Chiswick residents are sharing everything from sports and baby gear to tools and garden equipment; they're offering cooking lessons, language help and website assistance and they're giving away bikes, pet gear, kitchen accessories and board games to name just a few things. It’s all free, from signing-up to sharing and receiving any of those things.”

Research shows that British households are sitting on £31 billion of goods they never use- that's an average of £581 per person. For example, only 10% of the items we buy get used more than once a month. The average drill is used for 12 minutes in its lifetime, claimed the Streetbank spokesperson.

Set up by Sam Stephens and Ryan Davies in April 2010 in West London, it is now expanding abroad to the US, Australia, Turkey and Iran. The organisers say it helps to build community as well as saving money. It also adds sustainability, helps alleviate loneliness and is practical as well as fun.

This is how it works. You go to , sign up with a postcode, add a skill or item you would be willing to share or give away and then have access to everything offered by your neighbours. It's all free.

Kerryn Johnson, Fulham-based mother of two: ‘I use Streetbank extensively. I was looking for some lego for my son and did a call out to my area. A neighbour I hadn’t met got in touch and ended up giving me three huge bucketfuls! We had so much we ended up passing on half of it to my son’s school. I love that – spreading things around your community to where it’s going to be best used.’

"The key to this is for people to help engage more with their neighbours and make use of platforms which help share items and skills, or car-sharing. There are lots of ways to make use of what we have and have fun in the process," said the spokesperson.

November 23, 2012

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