If you unwrapped a shiny, new cordless drill this holiday season, you’ll probably only use it for a total of 12 minutes. Makes you think about what other possessions you rarely use, right? Like most of them — we use 80 percent of ‘em less than once a month.

All of that idle dust-collecting can be harnessed for the greater good, say authors Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. Their book, What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, describes a new 21st century economy rising up to take advantage of the massive potential of all our unused stuff. Botsman calls it “a fundamental change in the relationship between producers and consumers and people in society that’s starting to reinvent not just what we consume but how we consume.”

Here’s Botsman at the 2010 Feast Conference explaining collaborative consumption in her charming British accent:

Want more? Watch her TED talk from May 2010.