Freecycle has long made it easy to recycle unwanted stuff by giving it away to someone who does want it and now Oborrow is using a similar model for people who need to borrow something.

The site sprang from the idea that most household tools sit unused for most of the time and one lawnmower, for example, is probably enough to serve an entire street.

Potential lenders and borrowers sign into Oborrow using their Facebook details, and the site then shows which of their friends is also signed up and what they have to offer — or need.

Lending and borrowing is free, and the Facebook connection means that Oborrow members only borrow from and lend to people they know — which is just as well, since the whole thing operates on trust rather than some contractual commitment.

The only catch is that the success of Oborrow hinges on the size of its membership and the number of Facebook friends that also sign up. Even so, it’s a laudable idea and it’s worth spreading the word to swell its ranks.