Have you heard of car sharing? It’s just one popular example of collaborative consumption. Because our lifestyles have reached a point where we can no longer sustain ourselves under our current economic systems, we need to look at more sustainable models.
The term collaborative consumption is used to describe an economic model based on sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting access to products as opposed to ownership. Technology and peer communities are enabling these old market behaviours to be reinvented in ways and on a scale never possible before. From enormous marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist, to peer-to-peer marketplaces such as Tradepal, emerging sectors such as social lending (Zopa), peer-to-peer travel (CouchSurfing, Airbnb), peer-to-peer experiences (GuideHop), and car sharing (Zipcar or peer-to-peer RelayRides), Collaborative Consumption is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what people consume but how they consume it.(from Wikipedia)
There are an amazing number of new enterprises out there using a collaborative, sharing model. Chances are you may be already using one or two yourself. If so, don’t stop there; check out the many other possibilities available for sharing products/services. I will soon be compiling a directory of collaborative consumption resources on this site.
If you think you aren’t the “sharing type” and shy away from sharing products and services with others, I highly recommend the book, “What’s Mine is Yours.” It may really open your eyes to why we need to share more and the exciting new possibilities that exist.