In January I attended a talk on collaborative consumption as part of the Sydney Festival. It had been one of those days that had been long and hard, and more than a few times I thought I might ditch the evening in the city in favour of a cup of tea and an early night. I didn’t though and damn, I’m glad I didn’t.
My brain grew a little that night. One of those moments where you can almost hear the audible pops, as ideas and thoughts run unhindered when you are by yourself and really, really are able to listen. Needless to say I loved it, but what on earth is Collaborative Consumption?
The sharing economy (sometimes also referred to as the share economy, shared economy, mesh, collaborative economy, collaborative consumption) is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical assets. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. These systems take a variety of forms, often leveraging information technology to empower individuals, corporations, non-profits and government with information that enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services. [Wikipedia]
In a nutshell it’s a shared economy, and that’s a good thing.
Now there are oodles of different shared economy sites to use these days, it’s just a matter of finding one that suits you and getting started. After that, it’s a kind of landslide effect and the doors keep opening.
Here’s an easy ten to get you started.
1/ Airbnb– accommodation in 34,000 cities and 192 different countries. Options from one night in a tent in someones backyard to a castle for a month- with everything else in between.
2/ Landshare– “Connecting growers to people with land to share.” The concept of Landshare began in the UK and was launched by super-duper popular River Cottage.
3/ Eat with Me– “Connect with interesting people by planning or attending event’s to share food and eat together”
4/ The Clothing Exchange– Swapping clothing either online or at one of their regular exchange meet ups.
5/ Garage Sale Trail– “Bargains are had, treasure is discovered, friends are made, money raised and fun is had by all. The cupboards, garages and sheds of Australians are decluttered, re-used and waste minimisation is put into practice en masse.”
6/ Skillstay– “Exchange your skills. Make new friends. Stay for free.”
7/ Hive Studio– Desk or office space, coworking spaces are offered with a community atmosphere.
8/ Car Next Door– Neighbour to neighbour car sharing
9/ MamaBake– “Group, big batch baking for mothers.” A group (say 4) comes together, cooks one big batch dinner each and then swaps- dinner for the next 4 nights.
10/ Jayride– An easy way to hook up a ride with someone going in the direction you need to. Rides could be free, or for just a couple of dollars.
…and the big mama of them all Collaborative Consumption. My top ten is fairly Australian based but if you click on this link it will take you to which ever country you are from, showing sites that will be more local and possibly relevant to you.
What are some of your favourite Collaborative Consumption sites?
Great Share – thanks so much 🙂
I’ve heard of Airbnb and I like the idea of landshare and eatwithme. Sounds like you gained a lot from attending the conference xx
Hitch hiking is common in the Snowy Mountains by all kinds of folks rich/poor and young/old. Jayride is happening in the Snowy Mountains thankfully. There’s no public transport and all those young winter staff come here and have to get up the mountain every day for work and some for a play in the snow too. Also, car pooling in our little village to get the “men” off to work.
Jeez Zena, you’d have to in your area without public transport. I would imagine there would be lots of people (especially) winter time that wouldn’t have their own car but are living in the area. Awesome that it works well.
If you’re interested in using the sharing economy for travel check out sharetraveler.com
Wow people are amazing. Tis is all so very fantastic and I hope they all work in the best possible way
People are aren’t they. I was so inspired looking into all these different sites.
Swapdom.com is my choice! Thanks for the post!
Wow, this just made my brain do a little jig. Brydie I had no idea even though I mod at Rhonda’s Simple Living Forum. Thank you dear girl.
Oh yay Rose! I’m so glad. It did for me too, and if the post just got one persons brain to do a jig I’m happy.
Kinda reminds me a little of WWOOFing (share your farm-hand skills for a bed and meals and getting to know the family and region they’re in) which I’ve experienced and recommend, and also SWAP, skills with a purpose, meaning you give your particular skill you want to share in return for someone else’s skill, no money exchanged, but you put a value on your skill and vice versa, keeping a ‘bank account’. Sounds complicated but really quite simple. I never used SWAP so can’t really comment! Thanks for the links. I’ve also shared with my GooglePlus account. Are you using any yourself?
I so wish I had done WWOOFing when I was younger Janina. I think it would have created some golden life skills. I did LETS for a long time which is similar to the SWAP that you mentioned- that was a really great experience. A clothing swap yesterday, not through The Clothing Exchange but a local community based one and Garage Sale Trail was huge last year- which was a great day. The rest of the list I still need to explore. Although I’d happily use any of them!
Hi, I am Lea a co-founder of Skillstay, no 6 you mentioned. Thanks so much for including us.
We are like wwoofing, an organisation that is great and has been around a long time. We are taking this concept further and making it for all city and country dwellers, not just organic farming.
We would love it if you could include this in your blog:
What is Skillstay?
Skillstay is a global community that connects hosts and helpers.
As a HELPER swap your skills for a FREE place to stay anywhere in the world.
As a HOST you get FREE domestic help in exchange for your spare room or couch.
Everybody gets to share their culture and life experience and make friends.
Locally, nationally, globally.
NO MONEY CHANGES HANDS, you are a volunteer, not a worker.
Yes, I know we are self promoting, but we are still new.
I will be tweeting the link to your blog and if you read it and would like to know more, please have a look and contact us.
Thank you for self promoting 🙂 great that you got in touch, thank you!
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