Sharing Economy

On sharing, swapping, and shopping secondhand to stay zero waste | Litterless

These thoughts on the "sharing economy" are so valuable, I want to talk about them with everyone I know. The idea of pooling resources with friends instead of buying one's own - to the mutual benefit of pocketbook, environment, and community - feels like it belongs to a kinder, slower, friendlier world.

Alongside my efforts to generate less trash, I've also been trying to create less waste. What goods can I live just as happily without? What can I borrow instead of buying, or pass along to others when I no longer need it?

I've been pondering: when is ownership necessary, and when isn't it? It is for: toothbrushes, beds, beloved books, mixing bowls, shirts and shoes and sunglasses, and all such items that form my daily routines. I have no desire to live a life without (a substantial number) of creature comforts. And yet, I've been able to find many superfluous things in my life that could do someone else good if I just loosened my stranglehold on the idea that possessions equal security.

So, I've found the things that I don't have to own to enjoy, or that I love to share freely: the latest bestseller, a backyard, camping gear, knitting needles. The newspapers in the above image were passed on to me by dad, who gets them as part of his job. Once I've read them, I pass them along in turn to my boyfriend, who peruses them with his morning coffee. All three of us are then able to access reading material, and a hefty amount of paper gets used more than once before being recycled. What have you been sharing these days, or what would you like to?