The Sharing Economy

 

It’s called collaborative consumption, (or the sharing economy) and it’s changing the way we work, play, and interact with each other. It’s fueled by the instant connection and communication of the Internet, yet it’s manifesting itself in interesting ways offline too.

The collaborative consumption movement empowers people to thrive despite economic climate. Instead of looking to the government or corporations to tell us what we want or create a solution for our problems, we take action to meet our own needs in a creative fashion. This is our power source. If you’re ready to connect with people who can help you save money, pursue your passions, and reduce waste, here’s a quick-start guide to your sharing experience. Start looking for ways to share at school, on community billboards, by asking friends, or use the resources below:
Housing
  • Roomates.com – A roomate finder and roomates search service which covers thousands of cities nationwide.
  • How to Start a Housing Co-op – one of the best affordable housing options around, and shared food expenses and cooking can increase your savings.
  • Guide to Sharing a House – buying a home by yourself may be out of reach in high cost areas, but shared ownership might be the ticket.
  • Cohousing Directory – Cohousing is homeownership in a neighborhood that shares.
  • Craigslist - find almost anything including a house or housemate on Craigslist.
Social food
  • Gobble, Grubwithus, Feastly, and Eat With Me (Australia) are Airbnbs for meals. Use them to find or host a meal in your neighborhood. Never eat alone!
  • MamaBake – Large batch group cooking saves time and money, not to mention it’s fun!
  • Local Harvest – A massive directory that helps you find farmers’ markets, CSA’s, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
  • Neighborhood Fruit – find and offer free fruit to your neighbors with this site and iPhone app.
Collaborative finance
  • Lending Club – An online financial community that brings together creditworthy borrowers and savvy investors so that both can benefit financially.
  • Zopa (UK) – Where people get together to lend and borrow money directly with each other, sidestepping the banks for a better deal.
  • Prosper – A peer-to-peer lending site that allows people to invest in each other in a way that is financially and socially rewarding.
  • SmartyPig – social savings bank that enables you to save for specific goals and engage friends and family to contribute.
  • Kickstarter – A crowd-funding site powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

Entrepreneurship / work

  • BetterMeans - Use open-source decision-making rules, and self-organizing principles to run your real-world projects.
  • TaskRabbit – make extra money doing odd jobs or outsource small tasks and deliveries with this errand and delivery marketplace.
  • Skillshare – earn some extra cash teaching a class or learn a new skill to help you get or create that dream job.
  • Use the coworking wiki, Loosecubes or Liquidspace to find a friendly place to cowork. Coworking is a flexible and community-oriented workspace option for business travelers, independent workers, and entrepreneurs.
Travel
  • CouchSurfing – An international network that connects travelers with free accommodations offered by locals in over 230 countries. There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than to stay with an friendly local.
  • Airbnb – the leading a fee-based service that connects people who have space to share with travelers looking for lodging, all over the world. Also check out similar services iStopOver, Roomorama, and Tripping. Save a ton of money and connect to the local scene through these peer to peer lodging sites.
  • How To Swap Cities – a guide on how to swap offices with someone from another city inspired by SwapYourShop.
  • Try out Vayable or Guidehop for tours and experiences created by independent locals for those seeking authentic experiences.
Land / gardening
Transportation
  • Check out these top transit apps for car free living.
  • Carsharing directory – find carsharing service providers in your area with this international list.
  • Zimride, eRideShare & Carpooling.com (Europe) – Find a ride or offer a ride on these top ridesharing platforms. And check out Avego for real time ridesharing through a mobile app.
  • ZipCar - the largest fleet-based carsharing service in the world.
  • RelayRides, Getaround, Just Share It, and Whipcar (UK) – Rent cars to or from neighbors using the leaders of the peer to peer carsharing movement.
  • Weeels – order cabs and share rides with this smartphone app.
  • Park at my House – Provides affordable and fine-free parking by enabling property-owners to rent out their empty driveways, garages, and car parks to drivers needing somewhere to park.
Media (books, movies, games, music)
  • Swap.com – The leading online swap marketplace for books, movies, music and games. Amazing selection. Update: now swapping everything.
  • BookMooch - Lets you swap books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want.
  • Goozex – A trading platform for video games and movies.
  • Paperback Swap – Trade paperback books for free. Also DVDs and CDs.
Clothing
Redistribution sites (where unneeded stuff finds a loving home)
  • Freecycle – The original grassroots organization for giving and getting free stuff in your town.
  • Craigslist – This is the ultimate free classified site with categories for free stuff, shares, barters, sublets, garage sales, house swaps, tons of used stuff for sale, and more. New in town? You can set yourself up with a job, an apartment, furniture, and a date all from this site.
  • eBay – International online auction that allows you to buy from and sell to other individuals.
  • Try out Zaarly, a classified service optimized for smartphones.
Storage and Parking spaces
  • Check out Storenextdoor for shared storage solutions
  • Park Circa a tool to help neighbors communicate, coordinate and share parking.
  • Park at my House for renting a private garage, driveway or car park space
Renting and sharing of general goods where you live
Campus
  • Chegg – Rent expensive textbooks on the cheap.
  • Better World Books – Save big on used textbooks.
  • CafeScribe - A new service that lets you download electronic copies of your textbook, add friends, and share your notes.
  • GradeGuru – A leading student notesharing and social network.
  • Free Technology Academy – free college classes on open source technology and standards.
  • Open Courseware – free college course materials offered by scores of top universities from around the world. Also check out MIT’s free classes.
Other guides:
If you don’t see the sharing solution you need, check out the huge list of how to share guides on Shareable.
© 2011 Collaborative Finance Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha

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