Lawn Mower Time Sharing?

Food for thought in today's hard, 9%-unemployment economy, from a Richmond Times-Dispatch article today (http://bit.ly/tvVyIr): collaborative consumption:

"Many people have heard of bike-sharing programs on college campuses, but that idea is spreading to the entire marketplace. The idea of "collaborative consumption" is playing out in numerous ways online, with sites that enable people to rent out or exchange all sorts of items, from wedding dresses to power tools and parking spaces. The force behind it, Thomas said, "is the notion that we don't have to own everything. We can share.""

I'm less intrigued by theĀ Utopian / owning-stuff angle (although it is very Thoreauvian), and more with the economic angle.

So, for example, rather than everyone buying their own lawn mower, a handful of neighbors buy one and timeshare it. Or, if someone's mower goes, that person buys into a neighbor's mower rather than buy a new one.

Other expensive but time-sharable items might be tool boxes, weed whackers, ladders, leaf-blowers, etc. Anything that isn't needed at a moment's notice and is portable.

I'm sure some folks out there are kicking butt and making money hand over fist, but for those of us looking to economize, this is an interesting idea..