Why you should join your tool library – A Data Story

We think there are lots of great reasons, not least:

  • It will save you money
  • It will help save the environment
  • We probably have the tool you need
  • We’re popular – lots of people have joined already and keep coming back
  • We’re a community, ask us anything

It will save you money

Buying tools costs money – hardware stores in the UK made over £12 million in 2018. There are some tools that people need to own and use regularly, but for everything else you could save the retail cost, and sign up for an annual tool library membership for just £30!

That’s £30 to borrow any ETL tool you want.

Let’s compare buying to borrowing. If you buy a strimmer to tackle your overgrown shared garden in the Spring, and then a cordless drill to put up a new shelf or a garden planter in the summer, you’d spend at least £100 on these two tools, not counting any spare strimming cable, power extensions or drill bits.

If you join the tool library, you spend £30, borrow a strimmer and a drill and save yourself £75 in the process.

Our strimmers and cordless drills are borrowed consistently throughout the year, which means they’re in good working order and we probably have any extras you need. But most importantly, they’re good quality – we source high quality tools because we know that cheap tools break. So you’re getting access to a more expensive tool, for less than a cheap tool. This shows the activity in 2020 of just one of our strimmers, and one of our cordless drills.

It will help save the environment

Every tool you borrow for the first time instead of buying means that a new tool doesn’t have to be made. The plastic doesn’t have to be polymerised from oil, the metal doesn’t have to be mined and extracted, the electronics don’t have to be made. Each material in a tool has an embedded carbon – the carbon released to make it. We can total the embedded carbon for every tool, and show how much carbon the tool library saves:

Why you should join your tool library - A Data Story 1

We probably have the tool you need

As of May 2021 we have 1438 tools in our inventory. Take a look:

We’re popular

We have 933 members, and have been steadily growing since we started (not counting the Covid elephant in the room)

Why you should join your tool library - A Data Story 2

We’re a Community

Here’s what people say about being a part of ETL

It’s a way to provide a service that I would like to have been available to me when I first moved to Edinburgh, to help people realise that they are more capable than they sometimes imagine, and to be part of an inclusive community that is also environmentally friendly.

ETL Volunteer

The people and community the tool library has is so welcoming. I was afraid of not having enough experience with woodwork, but people didn’t care about that at all and were really willing to help me learn more.

ETL Volunteer