Waste Reduction Week: the sharing economy

It’s hard learning how to share as a kid! Toys, clothes, and books are one thing, but having to share your friends or your space or – universe forbid – your PARENTS?! Sharing is a NIGHT. MARE.

Oh, wait, no, it’s not!

When we learn how to share as kids, we develop a great new skill. With that we learn gratitude, empathy, kindness, and what is at the core of a community and family (aka values).

Except… then you’re an adult and you totally stop sharing! What’s up with that? Never mind going to a neighbour’s house to “share” a cup of sugar, but now every household “needs” its own mower, power drill, BBQ, and air compressor?

Perhaps the hold-up of a booming sharing-economy is that the richest of the rich wouldn’t collect riches as fast anymore. Aw. Poor billionaire. Here, borrow my hankie.

If you can imagine the sharing economy, it’s basically anything you can borrow or rent. For example:

  1. various libraries: books, toys, teaching resources, seeds
  2. rentals for short-term use items: Halloween costumes, formal wear, outdoor gear rentals
  3. transportation: bike share, car2go car sharing, uber
  4. music and video streaming
  5. food sharing: food recovery programs, share waste apps (sharing your compost bin with others), grow a row
  6. de-cluttering and giving away items you no longer use to someone who will (think eBay, or local buy/swap groups)
  7. offering free workshops, or sharing services

All of these sharing ways contribute to a circular economy, and a healthy community. It is less wasteful, makes use of important resources, connects people to items or services they need, and boosts morale of a community.

This year, sharing looks and feels different, but it is still completely possible, and necessary, in a time of more hardship, and communities drifting apart.

How do you share? Have you used any of the aforementioned libraries or services? What has been your experience?

Working the compost with volunteers at a community garden






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