Many of us dream of living in a more sustainable, less wasteful society, growing our own fruit and vegetables, getting back to the core community values of yesteryear. The digital age has created the opportunity for us to change the way we consume, to build a positive economy that suits the needs of our 21st century lifestyles and fulfils some of our ideals. Let’s consume our way to a positive tomorrow…
Technology has provided us with a way to consume collaboratively, which in essence means we work together as a global community, with an emphasis on making the most of what we have, using only what we need, working peer to peer with no need for the middle man. Collaborative consumerism is a business model being adopted and executed on a global scale proving that consumerism, co-operative sharing and traditional community values can succeed hand in hand. A few fabulous examples of collaborative consumerism are:
Grow your own: Landshare brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food, connecting those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food. Since its launch through t.v show River Cottage in 2009 it has grown into a thriving community of more than 55,000 growers, sharers and helpers.
CREDIT: ANDREW CROWLEY
Get things you need: Netcycler is a swap service for secondhand goods enabling users to use items they already own as currency. Globally, there are 55110 items and more than 133000 users. Search for what you are looking for, list your existing items and swap the goods. Use Netcycler to swap, buy, sell, give away and get items for free.
We are all faced with a choice, carry on business as usual or aim for a more positive economy, every product we buy or sell can be part of the solution. Let’s join together today to create a fabulous tomorrow.
Find a place to stay: Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries.
Hitch a ride: Zimride, sadly only available in the U.S and Canada is a carpool and Rideshare community. It’s an easy way to find local, commuter, or long distance rides and carpooling.
Rent your car: Drive My Car is a web-based service that promotes and facilitates private car rentals, also known as peer-to-peer car sharing connecting car owners willing to rent out their car, with Drivers looking for a car to rent.
Collaborative consumer business models such as Airbnb and Zimride require a certain level of trust between users. Similar to old school Laundrettes and libraries, users are able to access a shared service or experience without the commitment of ownership. This global community mentality connects individuals and breeds a positive economy based on trust and co-operation, reducing waste and excess buying.