Renting Is the New Buying: From Cars to Clothes, Bags to Bling, Leasing Cuts the Cash and Carbon

rental items

Better hope the lease isn’t up on the crystal stemware when your mother-in-law comes over for dinner.

Is encouraging citizens to rent, rather than own, household possessions the “secret weapon” countries need in order to meet their climate change targets?

Yes, according to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), the British Government’s waste watchdog. The recently released WRAP report has found that if households shifted a fifth of their spending from purchasing to renting, there would be a 2 percent (or 13 million tonnes) reduction in CO2 emissions each year. We smell a micro-trend.

WRAP has identified these five categories of household items that should really, for the sake of the planet, be rented rather than purchased.

High-end clothing and accessories. Celebrities do it so why shouldn’t we? Renting from sites such as Bag Borrow or Steal, From Bags to Riches, Borrowed Bling, and Rent the Runway instead of buying not only saves you cash and clutter. It also lets you keep up with quickly changing trends.

Glassware and tableware. Keep the everyday glassware and tableware, but forget about stashing away a special occasions set of china. These can be rented as needed from local party and catering rental companies.

Tools and equipment for house and garden. A garage full of tools and machinery might look impressive but they are only taking up space if you only use them once or twice a year. Better to locate the nearest tool lending library and rent what you need when you need it.

Vehicles. For many of us (myself included), it’s hard to imagine not owning a vehicle. But not having one could be the answer to cash and space problems. Alternative options include car sharing, renting, and leasing.

Telephone, audio and recreational equipment. The problem with the continuing advancements in technology is that everyone rushes out to buy the latest gadgets as soon as they hit the market, regardless of whether or not they need it. As a result, people often throw out old phones and electronic equipment that still works, creating e-waste disposal problems.

Renting instead of buying makes senses really. After all, how many times have you bought something, only to use it briefly and then pack it away in a cupboard and drawer? If, instead, you were to rent it, use it and then return it, the item would soon be available for someone else to use.

As a result, less items would need to be produced and there would be less waste. Just don’t bounce the rent check, or it’s repossession of the china for you.

Images: tiffa130, quinn.anya, huzzahvintage