Collaborative Consumption: Reinventing How We Consume

swissmiss

A couple months ago I gave an interview to EcoSalon about how excited we at Re-Nest are about the resurgence in sharing through sites like Share Some Sugar, B-Cycle, Neighbor Goods, Rentalic, Sharing Backyards, and HyperLocavore. Now a new book by Rachel Botsman examines this growing phenomenon, which she calls "collaborative consumption," and which encompasses behaviors like sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping— all of which are being reinvented through social technologies and peer communities.

Here's an excerpt from a post she recently wrote for swissmiss:

So why is Collaborative Consumption emerging so fast and right now? Pressing environmental concerns and the global financial crisis has led to a questioning of the health (in all dimensions of the word) of consumerism on a scale we have never seen before. We are feeling a sense of emptiness, a distrust with ‘big’, and turning once again to each other. The phenomenal growth of Facebook and farmers markets may not seem connected but they are. We are seeking to be a part of a community of people with a shared interest (both in the physical and virtual worlds); to feed the part of us that seeks connection and belonging. It’s a perfect storm of drivers fusing together to create "The Big Shift"; away from the 20th Century defined by hyper-consumption, towards the 21st century, the age of Collaborative Consumption. It’s a new era marked by trust between strangers, access over ownership and the primacy of experience over "more stuff."

Botsman states that she has two personal goals for this movement: first, to empower local change makers to start something in their community connected to Collaborative Consumption, and second, to work with businesses to prove how smart ‘design thinking' can recreate a healthier balance between the needs of individuals, companies, and the greater good of society.

Check out the book on Amazon: What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Read more about collaborative consumption at www.collaborativeconsumption.com.

Where do you fall on this? Do you jump on any of the sharing websites we listed above when you need help? Tell us below!

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