I interviewed Ann Karp who is a Koinonia Farm (Americus, Georgia) community member and graduate of Ohio’s Oberlin College, class of 2001. She said at Oberlin, there were a good number of co-ops. There were bicycle co-ops, pottery co-ops, photography co-ops, food co-ops… In each of these, students would share bicycles, cameras and other stuff, to cut costs. They also had co-ops to pool money to purchase food in bulk. This, too, saved money. (For instance, Ms. Karp was involved with a vegetarian co-op in a resident hall she lived in at the college and they would purchace, primarily, from local farms.) She said many of the students at Oberlin were quite environmentally aware and social justice oriented. That is, it takes the burning of polluting fossil fuels to make bicycles, cameras, and so on. So sharing these products only makes sense, environmentally. Also, by several people going in on buying one bicycle in America — there is more money left for social justice causes to help the poor worldwide. Note: The current issue of Sojourners Magazine has a story about “Play-Pumps” that are being installed near schools all over South Africa — where there is significant water shortages. The Play-Pump is a playground toy similar to a simple merry-go-round. But as the children turn the merry-go-round, it also turns a pump that fills a 30-foot high tank with ground water. Ingenious. Each pump costs approximately $5,000 to $10,000 and provides safe drinking water for villages of up to 400 people. Funding sources have included foundation grants, partners such as the World Bank and Unicef, and in the future… maybe some American people who have chosen to share bicycles, cameras and other stuff. Note 2: As co-ops work at Oberlin College, they could work in practically any neighborhood. In addition, several years ago we looked at the dynamics of a “Lending List” at First Mennonite Church in Bluffton, Ohio. Church members came up with a rather extensive list of kitchen appliances, lawn equipment, camping gear… they were willing to lend to other members of the church. Excellent idea.