Thanks to the rise of The Sharing Economy, local apps and online communities mean you no longer need to own that electric drill you bought when your shelf fell down, or the sledge because ‘it might snow this Christmas’. Now we can all own less, share more, and free up our time and money to do more of what we love.
The end of clutter
You might be living in a standard family home, shared house, student flat, spare room or converted ice cream van! But whatever your situation, few of us have, or can afford, lots of extra space for storage these days.
Yet, we still need tools for DIY, chairs for dinner parties, or a juicer for that detox you promised yourself…6 months ago. This is where services like Streetbank and Freecycle come in, where local communities can share items that sit in the cupboard, but that someone else might need.
The sharing economy can enhance our homes, freeing up space from unused items, opening up room for calm and tranquility.
The personal benefits of owning less, spread both to our physical lives, and our spiritual state.
Studies have shown many times, that generosity and giving are strongly associated with a healthier sense of well-being. By looking after each other through sharing possessions, we’re also looking after ourselves through sharing kindness.
These new apps and services supporting the sharing economy makes it easier than ever to experience the benefits of a simpler, minimal life.
We then don't have to worry about the logistical or financial burden of one-off purchases, and those ‘what if we have friends over for a fondue’ scenarios (because… we probably won’t).
Take comfort in knowing the more we share, the more we have.
Joy of giving
Beyond our own intrinsic impression, participation in the sharing economy helps spread the delight of giving into wider society. After all, joy multiplies when shared with friends. Whatever our passions and hobbies are, chances are there’s an app for that. We no longer need to own and store ski-gear, camping equipment, musical instruments, costumes, you name it. We can borrow or rent it all through services like Spinlister (bikes/surfboards), GearPeer (outdoors/camping), BorrowLenses (photography), Get My Boat (duh, boats) and many more.
This opportunity to meet like-minded people and build our network of friends, both online and in person, creates strong communities. It’s easier than ever to travel, explore, experience, and find our sense of belonging, without it costing the world to do so.
Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to try out, or considered buying but weren’t certain about.
What item would you share to help spread joy to others, or what new thing would you borrow to trial something new?
Sharing is caring
As the sharing economy grows in popularity and potential, yet more positivity can be spread, this time to our worn-out world.
By sharing our possessions, we’re caring for our planet, protecting it from the dangers of persistent production.
Car sharing saves oil, toy sharing saves plastic, wardrobe sharing saves water, and food sharing saves waste.
One of the biggest success stories of the sharing economy has been in the disruption of the transport sector. With ride sharing services like Bla Bla Car, and the countless city car clubs around the world. This means many of us urbanites can cut out car ownership from our list of possessions. Significantly improving the health of our carbon footprints, and hopefully bank balances too.
The more we can share, lease, rent or borrow, the less, as a society, we need to consume. This benefits not only us as individuals, to help de-clutter our lives and our minds. But also society to build vibrant communities, and the environment to save us from resource recession.
If you’re not sure what to share first, maybe a dog, bike or suitcase, why not start with a smile at the next person you see!
Theo Drijver is a freelance writer, blogger and creator of The Delight Life. Exploring the power of less, through applying minimalist thinking to all aspects of life and current affairs.