Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), people have increasingly been looking for ways to cut costs, with many turning to the internet to find new ways to share resources.
In the past few years, there has been an explosion in sites offering ways to share, barter, lend, trade, rent and gift. Some popular examples including online marketplaces such as ebay and gumtree, peer-peer travel and house swapping sites like Airbnb, social lending sites like lending hub and car sharing sites like drivemycarrentals.com or goget.
Of course these systems for sharing and collaboration have always existed but nowadays new technology and social networks are allowing us to do so in ways never before imaginable and on a much greater scale. And as collaborative consumption grows, it is proving to have not only great financial benefits to both lenders and borrowers, but also social and environmental ones.
In a day and age where families are becoming increasingly scattered across the globe and many people don’t know their own neighbors, collaborative consumption involves the re-emergence of community. It relies on people connecting, engaging and trusting each other. And with resources being constantly recycled, it is a much more sustainable form of consumption than buying everything new.
The term ‘collaborative consumption’ was coined by Harvard Graduate Rachel Botsman in her book ‘What’s mine is yours’. You can find out more about it and look for ways to connect and save, at her website.
Even better, if you have any favourite collaborative consumption sites, please feel free to leave a comment below.