16 Dec 2014
BIG PICTURE

Sharing economy: own less, share more

car2go is all about sharing, not about owning. Carsharing is part of a bigger movement, the so-called ‘sharing economy’: It believes that you cannot only share cars, but also jobs, homes or things.

Here, we want to look at the benefits of sharing more closely: This article focuses on sharing things like tools or kitchen utensils as you do not need to buy everything brand new, but you can also borrow things you do not need regularly. Here is how that works.

In every household there are things that are seldom used. A drill, for example, is used for only 13 mins in its entire lifetime, a study found.

Anyone who – knowing this – prefers not to buy a drill, but still needs one sometimes, could consider borrowing one from the neighbor.

That is how the sharing economy takes roots. Someone has a lawn mower, another a ladder he does not need all the time.

Someone can lend their waffle iron another their extension cord. By now there are organized networks for fostering the sharing.

Websites and apps

There are various platforms online that help users find what they need to borrow.

The advantage of these platforms is that they present the options for an easy use. You can search the sites, order then or just peruse just like with online retailers.

You can either borrow for free or for a small fee. Sometimes you have to supply a deposit.

As always the pleasure is in the mix: we recommend comparing a few different platforms as you probably do not only shop with just one online retailer.

Facebook groups

Foto: Facebook Website Screenshot von Spencer E Holtaway,CC BY-ND 2.0, zugeschnitten

Picture: Facebook Website Screenshot by Spencer E Holtaway,CC BY-ND 2.0, fitted

As you probably know, you can find a group for almost anything on Facebook – the same is true for sharing-fans.

Depending on what you are looking for, you can become part of groups that give away, swap, sell or lend. There are specialized groups for locals, so you will likely find a group just for your city or even neighborhood.

Some of these groups have more than 10.000 members – that is not bad odds for finding what you are looking for.

Sticker on your mail box

The sharing economy can also work in the analog realm – for example with the help of stickers.

If, for example, there were color-coded stickers on your mail box, you could let your neighbors know what it is that they could borrow from you – be it a tire pump, a BBQ or tools. Your neighbors could simply ring your doorbell to start swapping or borrowing things – without the internet, social networks or apps.

Do you have some other ideas how things could be swapped or borrowed? Please, share them with us by leaving your experience or example in the comments. You can also leave your feedback or questions like that.