Last week I wrote a post on getting to know your immediate neighbors and how that can add value to your life and build your ‘village’. In addition to getting to know those who live on the same street, thanks in large part to the Internet, we also have the opportunity to expand our ‘village’ beyond our local community through sharing resources on a larger scale.
Doing so allows us to live simpler lives collectively and eliminate the need for ownership of every type of item we may want to use at some point in our life. Sharing programs that provide opportunity to share vehicles, bikes, food, tools and even our homes are all possible now on a larger scale thanks to the Internet!
Check out these different options for sharing instead of owning!
>Tools. I know a man likes owning his own tools. This is true of almost 100% of the men in my life. However, if you need a specialty tool for a one-time project, consider finding out if your community has a Tool Library where you can check a tool out from someone who already owns it. If not, consider renting it from your local hardware store if they have that option available. If you are the one with all the tools, consider starting a community tool library!
>Cars. Many large cities started car sharing programs simply because there just isn’t enough space for everyone to have a vehicle, but once in a while, residents would need one. This has expanded out in many areas and become available to people in many areas through companies like Zipcar, BlaBlaCar and even Enterprise has a car-share option. If you have a car to share, consider RelayRides, GetAround and JustShareIt. But, before doing so, I’d recommend taking a look at this Forbes article that talks about some things to consider if you choose to do so.
>Bikes. Another great form of transportation, bike rentals are available in most major cities and even smaller ones. Consider renting a bike, or renting out your bike if you have one, to those who would prefer to use this method to get around. Besides being a great form of exercise, they are also easy to maintain and have minimal financial risk if they get damaged or lost/stolen.
>Homes. Say goodbye to the pressure of someday owning a second retirement or vacation home, and say hello to one of the newest forms of sharing! Airbnb allows everyday people to connect with each other and share their homes, empty rooms or if they already have a vacation home it allows them to rent it out at low prices while providing the opportunity to make friends all over the world! For safety, they require a verification and allow people who stay at the homes a way to review their experience to let others know what to expect.
>Random Stuff. Do you need a ladder to change a high light bulb? Maybe you want to use a rototiller to try out gardening this year, perhaps you want to borrow a backpack for a camping trip? All of these types of items many people have stored around their house, maybe even you, and they don’t get used all that often. Sharing and borrowing with those in your area is a great way to use these items and eliminate the mentality that you have to go buy everything you need, even if it’s just for a one time project or use. Consider checking out NeighborGoods, a site created just for sharing items in local communities!
>Food. Last but not least, what about sharing food? Local food coops and farmer’s markets are fantastic ways to share the purchase of food between larger groups of people, bringing the quality up and the cost down. Consider joining a coop where you can order quality food items in bulk, the company will reduce the cost for the item, and you split the quantity with those in your group. Check out these directories for food coops and farmer’s markets in your area!
The majority of us are taught to share as kids, why do we ‘outgrow’ it as adults and insist on owning everything? Consider joining the share economy in your area.