The category of tools can be usefully divided into subdomains: domestic utensils, hand tools, power tools, communications tools, machine tools, and so on. A commonsense understanding of a tool is that of a device that can be used to affect some kind of change on a material. A broader definition would stress the inclusion of social tools: networks of people and social technologies (e.g., public libraries) that operate on a large, societal scale and that enable users to effect successful actions through their use. Green approaches to tools consider the multitude of tools of different kinds and their effects at different scales of action.

The private ownership of underused tools makes little sense. Most domestic power tools, like this leaf blower, are used for perhaps 10 ...

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