Top 10 Collaborative Consumption sites

collaborative consumption || cityhippyfarmgirl

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.

collaborative consumption || cityhippyfarmgirl

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?

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Luxurious Frugality

For something a little wonderfully different I have a guest post from the lovely Becs of Think Big Live Simply today…I think you will love her.

think big live simply

The title sounds like an oxymoron right?

I thought so too when I first heard it. But when I dived into the explanation, I thought it was actually a pretty accurate description of how I’m now choosing to live my life! I wrote awhile ago about how I don’t believe in feeling like a fraud just because you aren’t living a ‘perfect’ sustainable or simple life. This kind of relates.

See, while I devour blogs, books and articles about simplicity and minimalism and I’ve decluttered like a crazy woman over the last couple of years, I can still spend my fair share of cash on ‘stuff’ – just less stuff, and different stuff, than before.

think big live simply

I make sure my consumer choices are driven by positive feeling – things that will enrich my life, rather than clutter it up. Luxurious Frugality, a phrase I’ve seen floating around a few times on the internet, fits my style because I choose to spend my money on the things that are important to me, while watching what I spend on everything else. It means, essentially, I get to both have my (probably cityhippyfarmgirl inspired) cake, and eat it too.

think big live simply

Before I make a purchase I think about if it will make a positive impact on my life, if it’s in alignment with the things that matter to me. I think about the things I love to do – write on Think Big Live Simply, be in my garden, design, take photos, visit cafes for coffee or breakfast, experiences like e-courses and workshops – and I make sure my choices are based around those things.

I also think about whether the purchase will make me feel how I want to feel – things like books, getting my car detailed yearly (because I hate cleaning my car even more than I hate cleaning the shower), camera lenses and beautiful music all fall into that category. Some of these things are small expenses – others are definitely on the more ‘luxurious’ side of things for my budget. All of them are absolutely worth it for the joy and enrichment they bring into my life.

think big live simply

Luxurious frugality doesn’t mean being a complete tight-arse. Nor does it mean spending frivolously – in fact, I’ve found it waaay easier to stick to a budget when I’m actually fulfilling myself with the purchases I make, rather than throwing money at the latest shiny, pretty thing. Side note – I still get REALLY easily distracted by the newest shiny, pretty thing (I’m blaming online shopping. And Instagram). But I’m much more able to let things remain in the cart without clicking the checkout button now. I think the 147 trips *not literally, although it feels like it* I’ve made to the charity shop in the last 18 months, where I am constantly amazed and appalled at the amount of previously spent value leaving my hands in the form of donated goods, have made me realise that most of The Stuff isn’t actually making me happy.

Since giving myself permission to spend money on the things that really do make me happy, and the mental space to remember exactly what that is, my relationship to stuff and to happiness has definitely changed for the better. My house is clearer, my bank account fuller, my heart a little more content and my mind a little more enriched.

So what do you think? Are there any ways you can implement a little Luxurious Frugality in your life?

think big live simply

Rebecca Shann is a Simple Living advocate, self-confessed Garden Nerd, and lover of all things fun and beautiful. It’s her greatest joy to support others to live simpler, more sustainable lives, while saving the planet one veggie patch at a time. When she’s not doing that, you can find her cooking from scratch in the kitchen, planting seeds in the garden, stretching out on her yoga mat or hanging with her husband and cheeky dog.

     Pop in here- Think Big Live Simply for more green garden goodness and other truly wonderful things.