Lendi: an app for sharing

Lendi is a mobile app for sharing objects. The idea behind it is simple: if you need something, instead of buying it new from a shop, you can request it in Lendi, and a friendly neighbour may lend it to you for free.

It’s a simple idea, but very powerful. Especially when considering how little we use a ladder, a sewing machine, or a drill (the most typical example). These objects cost us money and spend the vast majority of their lifetime inside a closet or a storage room. With Lendi, we can save money and simply borrow those things. On top of that, we get to know some new people in the neighbourhood!

Lendi: sustainability

But there’s more to it than that. Every time we buy something we don’t need, like a drill, we’re not just wasting money: the drill itself will at some point become waste. The plastic wrapping is waste. The packing box and the manual are waste. Did it come inside a plastic bag? Also waste. Waste that may take Earth hundreds or thousands of years to ‘digest’.

But there’s more. There’s also the waste we don’t see. The different components inside that drill probably come from different places, and the drill itself may come from the other side of the world. All those distributions were almost certainly powered by non-renewable energies, therefore polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.

But there’s even more. The production of those components and the assembly of the drill itself may have also required a fair amount of water and other resources. It may have released further waste and, again, it has probably been powered by non-renewable energies.

And we could keep going, and think about the other consequences of buying something. Have all the workers involved in making and selling you the product been treated well? Are all the components a result of fair trade? Was that product tested on animals? (Well, in the case of the drill, hopefully this concern doesn’t apply!)

In a nutshell, the true cost of buying a drill, which we may just use a few times over its lifetime, is much higher than what we paid in the store or online. So sharing it with the neighbours is not just a convenient way to save money and meet new people: it is a crucial part of a sustainable society.

Lendi: the jump

I have collaborated with Lendi as a data scientist, and I also made the soundtrack and edited their last video. Some months ago, they started crowdfunding, and promised (maybe initially as a joke?) to do bungee jumping if they reached their goal. Well, they did reach their goal and… the rest of the story is in the video: