Collaborative consumption – is it the future?

Collaborative consumption means that people share or exchange their items, clothes, vehicles or even flats for the benefit of both parties, instead of buying them,. Although the term is not new, it has become more meaningful in recent years and in 2010 Time magazine named it as one of the 10 ideas that would change the world. There is even a special day of the year celebrating it – the Global Sharing Day, which falls on 14th November.

Clothes swapping

Clothes swapping

Well-known services include Netflix, which is used for sharing video content, Zipcar for sharing cars or Airbnb – a platform, enabling search for privately rented properties. But one can participate in exchanging luxury homes in different parts of the world with Lovehomeswap, just sleep on someone’s couch with Couchsurfing, or share a taxi ride with Taxifortwo, or use the some else’s parking spot with Parkatmyhouse, and even nearby storage space can be found with Sharemystorage. Another new emerging service is Zopa, offering social lending by avoiding middlemen. Even eBay and Craigslist can be considered as part of the collaborative consumption movement.

Collaborative consumption allows a more sustainable lifestyle as it promotes the re-use and sharing of things instead of buying them. In a world of finite resources and a growing population, this could help avoiding the mountains of unused stuff, and remind adults that sharing is important as we teach it to our children.

Written for the Energy Saving Warehouse

Photo by Neesa Rajbhandari

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