I have written about this before, but a lot has change in the last three years. Collaborative consumption is here to stay, with the NSW government just introducing legislation so we are all able to make a bit on the side in our own homes – without the hurdles that where there before.
It’s called collaborative consumption – or sharing economy and it might be the answers to your prayers for a more meaningful ‘letting go’ process when de-cluttering your home.
How collaborative Consumption should change your attitude towards owning all that stuff
Sharing economy (also known as shareconomy or collaborative consumption) is a hybrid market model (in between owning and gift giving) which refers to peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services coordinated through community-based online services (Wikipedia)
The reason why this is a de-cluttering and organising topic is, that most of us find it much easier to part with an item if we know the person it goes to, or a good course. Charity run Op Shops do a fantastic job, but take just what they can sell through their shops – the sharing economy provides you with a much more tailored opportunity to get rid of your stuff in a meaningful way – and make sure you don’t have to buy something ever again – because you can easily borrow it from someone locally.
Most of us already use some of these, even if we don’t see them as a ‘sharing’ platform. Everyone has used or heard about e bay and Gumtree (which is part of e bay, just a different platform for a different market) and discussed the controversial nature of Uber.
There are sites that make it easy to share shed items, rooms, time, storage spaces, your house when you are on holiday, car rides, and cars
All are different and even when they appear the same at first, they try to satisfy a different niche market.
They are run by large corporations, small companies or local start ups. Especially the later are driven by a sense of social justice and the notion that goods should be available to everyone. Some do financially well, other don’t and I have seen companies disappear because the public didn’t take to it or a bigger, overseas company with more resources came forward and overtook the market.
I personally know the people behind GoGet Car, Spacelli and Open Shed and I promote their ideas in my public workshops and to my customers. Because I think it’s a concept worth sharing – if you consequently share rather than buy you will lower the eco footprint we leave on this earth and live a life more sustainable. This article states, that household consumption is a significant driver of climate and other environmental impacts. Have a read!
It also highlights a conundrum I discuss with a fair few of my customers when it comes to making decisions about letting go. A lot of you don’t wan to litter, think quite a lot about the impact an item will have on the environment when ending up in landfill – but it’s not the letting go that creates the rubbish, it’s buying or acquiring it in the first place!
These are some I tried personally or professionally
Facebook groups that are moderated by volunteers. They provides marketplaces for very local groups or niche items, for e.g. I am part of a group to sell and swap German toys and children’s books. If you go into Facebook and use the search window at the top and type your suburb or region and ‘buy and sell’, ‘paying it forward’ or ‘swap’ you should be shown the options in your local neighbourhood. If you have a special interest, type that and ‘buy and sell’ and you should be able to find something. Often one group leads to another and you will find references to a collaborative consumption group in your feed.
I use ebay and Gumtree for our family and for selling unwanted goods for customers (or use an e bay on seller to do it for me!!). On a global scale Australia is fourth in rank of ebay sales – which is amazing considering the size of our population.
I freecycle regular, again either our stuff, customers items from our front porch or bigger items from their home directly. (find ‘how to join’ here)
When all my worm farming worms died from an overindulgence of citrus peel, I got a new colony through freecycle by posting a ‘want’ item.
It makes sustainable sense and builds community.
We have used Happyhousesitter over the last 5 years. I like the house habited when we are away, the cat and chooks have company and get fed – so does the garden!
I personally never used AirBnB, but had a browse through their website. What a good read – who doesn’t want to dream about a holiday in a treehouse or check out the accommodations on offer in one’s native neighbourhood
You can bake and cook up a storm at MamaBake and I have realised that my German community has been doing this for the last 7 years on Mondays after the kid’s German lessons – and a special one each year before Christmas to get all the traditional Christmas cookies out of the way
For the same German language project I gave someone in Syria through fiverr the gig to design a logo and facebook banner for $5!
Open Shed is my favourite and I think I am the biggest supplier of items for hire in Sydney. I have listed our lawnmower, portable aircon unit, fondue pot, BBQ, kids parachute and my 1960’s pressed glass punch set. I enjoy the interaction, the pocket money I earn and meeting great people when they come and pick up an item.
I have a shop on Etzy – but have never sold anything. I just love that site to brows and get ideas. (I set up a shop mainly to be able to tell customers how it’s done!)
Overview of Sharing Platforms
City of Sydney has published this guide (also available as a printed booklet in their green living shop and council office)