We all have very different opinions on what is or isn’t acceptable to share. When it comes to borrowing and passing things on we all have diverse personal and cultural preferences. Sharing a friend’s toothbrush seems normal to some and revolting to others.

Where does your borrow-ometer sit?

Would you borrow someone else’s hairbrush, drinks bottle or pair of pants? All could spark similar polarisations of opinion depending on your personal grossed-out barometer. Would you borrow extra chairs for a party or jump leads for your dead car battery from your neighbours? How about their BBQ, lawnmower or power drill?

In more trusted spaces intimate examples of sharing can be seen such as drinking from the same chalice in a church. Meanwhile regulated sharing via platforms such as Air BnB seem to be putting people at ease, with people being happy to allow strangers in their homes.

Is the desire to share more with our neighbours there?

Research conducted as part of Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more showed a quarter of people don’t regularly greet their neighbours when they see them, while over a fifth have never knocked on a neighbour’s door. However there’s an appetite for change with over half of people wishing their area was more community spirited, and saying they’d happily receive food from a neighbour if it was offered.

Sharing with neighbours was once part of everyday life and is something we can reintroduce to help waste less food and save money. We’ve launched the Community Fridge in Swadlincote to act as a hub for sharing in the area, but people can share with their friends and neighbours across the country, which is what we want to see!

The Community Fridge is a social experiment that puts our desire to share with and receive from our neighbours to the test. Part of Sainsbury’s Waste less Save more campaign, the fridge gives local residents of Swadlincote access to a shared drop-in fridge. Interestingly it seems like there is enough trust and community spirit to make it work, with almost 300 individuals visiting the fridge since September. Since its launch in July 1,388kg of food that would otherwise be wasted has been re-distributed.

Perhaps it’s time to shake off a bit of our English reserved tendencies and embrace sharing in our communities this Christmas. Whether its via an online sharing platform like OLIO or by simply knocking on your neighbours door to see if they’d share in a slice of figgy pudding and good will. 

Use @hubbubuk to tell us, would you share food via a Community Fridge? If you’re interested in seeing one in your area, let us know hello [@] hubbub.org.uk.