On a recent trip to Pau in France, I had the chance to walk through a beautiful park right in the centre of town. The park is a meeting place for all the kids in the neighbourhood, big and small. In the middle of the park I saw a white van surrounded by all sorts of different shapes and sorts of bikes. Parents can rent any of these bikes for their kids for minimal amounts of money. Kids grow out of bikes so fast that if you could borrow one you wouldn’t need to buy one. Every day kids can choose a different bike and test that out.
This is such a fantastic idea and one that we are seeing more and more. Many businesses are realising that rather than sell products they can rent them. Think of all the things that we buy that we either use only for short periods of time or have to replace often, both at work and in our daily lives. Sustainability presents unlimited opportunities for entrepreneurs!
It would be great as a next stage if members of the community could get together and set up a sharing or swap scheme for all their bikes and toys. There must be hundreds of toys getting dusty in garages as their kids have out grown them (similar to growing shwopping or swishing events). Perhaps then the business could then be providing a maintenance, safety check.