March 27, 2024

24 and counting - borrowing goes from strength to strength

Group of people sat down chatting in behind them are workbenches and tools

Four years ago, there was one Library of Things in Wales. As of December 2023, there are 24! Benthyg Cymru has grown tremendously in recent years, helping drive sustainability and social change across the country.

What does that look like in numbers?

                  Across the network we have recorded 12,000  borrows, which have saved people and communities £300,000 and 140,000 kg of carbon  

What does that mean?

It means that every time you borrow a lawnmower instead of buying one, you save yourself and your community money. It’s a small amount, but as more Libraries of Things open and more people borrow, it adds up (to £300,000 so far, and growing with each borrow). Additionally, for every tent and camping chair you borrow instead of buy, a small amount of waste is diverted from a landfill and a small amount of carbon emissions is eliminated. And again, it adds up.

Another bonus of growth

We’re getting familiar with the quirks of our communities. Across the network, the most popular item categories are:

1. Carpet Cleaner

2. Pressure Washer

3. Gazebo

4. Camping Chair

5. Wallpaper Steamer

6. Dehumidifier

7. Hoover

8. Camping Table

9. Camping Mat

10. Tent

Is it the same everywhere?

While these items represent the general trends across our network, preferences vary by location. For example, in Llandrindod Wells, camping tables reign supreme as the most popular item. Meanwhile, in Splott, camping mats take the lead, in Swansea, it's camping chairs, and in Monmouthshire, gazebos steal the show. This localized insight highlights the unique needs and interests of each community we serve.

Item categories can also show how individual Libraries of Things respond to the needs of their communities.

Costumes rank 11th across the network, but at Benthyg Penarth, they are the third most borrowed item.  

Benthyg Cymru isn't just a borrowing network; it's a community-led force for social change in Wales.

By coming together, we’re working towards a shared vision of a greener, fairer society and changing the path of our future in Wales one pressure washer at a time.

So what's stopping you? Borrowing instead of buying can save you money, save you space and help creat a more sustainable word for everyone.

Find your nearest Library of Things and borrow something today