Sharing is not a new concept, in fact, it is quite an old activity.  Communities have shared with each other since the dawn of time.  But since the advent of technology, sharing has taken on a new meaning.  It is often referred to as the sharing economy but is also known as the collaborative consumption or the peer economy.

The most widely known sharing platforms are Airbnb and Uber.  But are they sharing?  The Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times and many others have argued that the “sharing economy” is a misnomer. Harvard Business Review suggests that platforms like AirBnb and Uber should referred to a being in the “access economy.”  The authors say, when “sharing” is market-mediated—when a company is an intermediary between consumers who don’t know each other—it is no longer sharing at all.  Rather, consumers are paying to access someone else’s goods or services.”

So Airbnb and Uber are in the access economy, which is growing quickly every day.  But what about the sharing economy?  Yes, that is growing too, but at a much slower pace.  Why, because of trust.  The people that participate in the sharing economy need to be trustworthy and have trust in each other.  As we know, it can take time to trust someone we don’t know.  But as people begin to experience the benefits of true sharing, the sharing economy will pick up pace.

Benefits of Sharing

  • Stronger and more engaged communities.  New connections are made through the sharing process.
  • Providing people with resources they could not afford or have no interest in owning long-term.
  • Owners make money from underused resources.
  • Reduced social isolation through meeting new people that share a common interest or goal.
  • Reduced pressure on the environmental through repurposing and recycling.
  • Reduces budget stress as people can access resources for free.
  • Increased dependence on communities to provide resources rather than corporation and governments.
  • Reduction in consumer consumption.
  • Reduction in landfill and the subsequent production of harmful environmental gasses.
  • Increased access to scarce and expensive resources.

 When people in a community #connect2share what they can, they are contributing to a stronger ecosystem that benefits both the people and the planet.  Relationships are strengthened within our communities and our environment.  Sharing is caring – caring for yourself, caring for the community and caring for the environment.

Spare Harvest gives members the choice to share, swap or sell what they have spare.  Regardless of the transaction type, every exchange is through a face to face connection.  It is through this type of experience that trust grows and a thriving online community develops.

It’s time we wasted less and shared more.  Let your community know what you no longer need.  Your trash could be someone else’s treasure.  If your community does not want it, then dispose of it.  But at least you have tried to keep the resources circulating in your community for as long as possible.

Signup and start a sharing hub in your community.  Anyone anywhere can use Spare Harvest to share food and garden resources in their community. or download the app from the App Store or Google Play.  Start connecting and sharing today and enjoy the benefits.