For a long time now, my mantra has been optimization. To make the most out of limited resources makes sense both economically and environmentally. OptiMap was an example of this. Driving too far is just stupid. Using OptiMap saves you time and money and it saves the environment too.
There are many other wasteful behaviors we need to address to optimize the usefulness (utility) of our planet’s finite resources. When I started to learn about embodied energy, I was shocked by how much energy is spent in the process of manufacturing the products we buy. An average $20 book has an indirect footprint of 20 kg CO2, mainly due to extraction of the raw materials needed and manufacture of the book itself. This is the equivalent of driving an average car more than 130 kilometers. Given the sheer number of things that most people own, these indirect emissions certainly add up.
How can we optimize this? First, we need to realize that in many cases, ownership of these items is not why we buy them. We want access to the features that the item can provide. You don’t buy the boardgame Axis & Allies because you want to be the proud owner of it. You buy it to play it. And it probably collects dust 364 days a year.
If someone has the item I need, and it collects dust most of the time, they wouldn’t mind lending it to me, right. And I would certainly return the favor some other day. But we need to survey the resources available. Then make that information searchable. So that when you need a power drill or want to watch a movie, you can find the one closest to you. SkyLib.com is my attempt at doing this. Yes, it’s beta and yes it lacks many features. Certainly rough around the edges. But you can start organizing your stuff and building your personal library today.
Feedback is hugely appreciated! Please head over to SkyLib.com and give it a try. I’m already sharing 120+ items with you as of this post.