by Alissa Oliverson (SWAC Chair), July 2021
Trash Talk Series from Sustainable Klamath, Solid Waste Action Committee (SWAC)
Reducing our consumption includes renting the things we need instead of buying them. Whether you have a one-time project to complete, or don’t have the space to store the tools you need, you can benefit yourself and the environment by renting tools at the Klamath Tool Library.
Did you know that the average power tool is used for only about half an hour in its lifetime? Making new products takes a massive amount of energy and resources, from petroleum products to wood, rubber, metals, minerals, and more. What a waste of resources to produce something that is used so infrequently. But when we share such products through rental, we can cut down on the resources used and the waste created. Renting is one type of businesses that completely encompasses the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Fittingly, it is known as the original Green Industry.
In 2018, Sustainable Klamath founded the Tool Library, which operates to this day at 1221 Main Street – next to Rodeo’s Pizzeria. The Tool Library loans out all types of tools and equipment to members and provides how-to classes on a variety of topics. With over 1,400 tools in stock, like a 4” table saw, post-hole diggers, MIG welders, a carpet shampooer, multiple varieties of sanders, ladders, hand tools, and more the Tool Library can assist you in finding and renting the appropriate tool for your job without the cost of ownership. Over 120 members currently participate in the Tool Library and membership is only a suggested donation of $15 per year, or you can get a discounted membership with the Tool Library if you become a member of Sustainable Klamath. The Tool Library is run by a dedicated group of volunteers/members and it is open Thursdays 5pm – 7pm and Saturdays 9am – 1pm.
Not only can you rent tools from the Tool Library, but you can also donate them. Sustainable Klamath is a 501c-3 non-profit organization, meaning that your donation may be tax deductible. So, if you’re ready to free up some space in your home or garage, you might consider donating your gently used tools. You can find out which tools are needed in the inventory on the Wish List page of the Tool Library’s website: klamathtoollibrary.org.
It is already a common practice for people to share things like washing machines (laundromats), cars (ridesharing), workout equipment (fitness centers) and other specialty items. So instead of buying that specialty tool to complete a single project or filling up your valuable home space with tools you rarely use, consider a membership with the Tool Library and rent what you need to reduce, reuse, and recycle while you remodel.
For more information on the Tool Library and other sustainability topics; to become a member, volunteer, or donate please visit: SustainableKlamath.org