The Kitchen Library lends a range of small to medium-size appliances, including mixers. Photo: Flickr/Justin Snow
The Kitchen Library lends a range of small to medium-size appliances, including mixers. Photo: Flickr/Justin Snow

The sharing economy is on the rise around the world, and we’re in love with this example from Toronto.

Founded by local foodie Dayna Boyer, The Kitchen Library is a nonprofit that allows the city’s residents to borrow small to medium-size kitchen appliances for short periods of time to experiment with new recipes and cooking techniques.

Operated in partnership with the Toronto Tool Library, the culinary lending library includes everyday essentials such as roasting pans and hand mixers as well as exotic, pricey gadgets such as pasta makers, dehydrators and Vitamix blenders.

Members pay $50 a year to access the library items, which are loaned for five-day periods. Appliances are donated by people in the community and maintained by The Kitchen Library volunteers.

“A lot of the items I try to find are really inaccessible to people, price-wise or space-wise,” Boyer told the Toronto Star. “They are things that are expensive that people don’t use too often.”

A similar operation called Kitchen Share is thriving in Portland, Ore., but Boyer said she wasn’t aware of anything like it in Canada.

“When the Tool Library started taking off, I started hearing more and more about how the sharing economy can help people and how it’s really great for community building,” she told the Toronto Star.

In addition to being costly and space-consuming, mixers, blenders, pressure cookers and other electronic appliances are considered e-waste at the end of their lives — meaning locals are also cutting back on hard-to-recycle waste by borrowing rather than buying new.

End-of-life electronics worldwide are expected to increase by 33 percent in just five years, reaching 65.5 million metric tons annually by 2017, according to a recent study from Solving the E-Waste Problem (StEP) Initiative, a U.N.-backed alliance. So anything that reduces high-tech trash is a win in our book.

[search type=”recycling” what=”Small Electronics” whatlabel=”Small Electronics”]

[search type=”recycling” what=”Large Electronics” whatlabel=”Large Electronics”]

By Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.