I actually decided to create this website after being unbelievably inspired by a book written by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers called ‘What’s Mine is YOURS‘.
The book is a real eye-opener to the vast world of consumption. They highlight how clever marketing has brainwashed us in to living far beyond our means, turning us into a nation of want instead of need by creating a throw-away culture. How local communities have become distant, segregated and isolated from one another. And how our need for the newest gizmos, gadgets and latest fashion means our concept of waste is virtually non-existent.
This book first introduced me to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A 3.5 million tonne swirling vortex of rubbish twice the size of Texas containing 90% non-degradable plastic, from bottles to toothbrushes, toys to shopping bags and nets. I kid you not.
But now there sees a positive shift in people moving against the hyper-consumerism tide and heading towards a term the authors have called Collaborative Consumption. This is a movement for everyday people turning their hand to traditional collaborative acts like sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting and swapping. The only change is the redefined way of doing it, via technology, peer communities and social networks.
The realisation that there are huge benefits of access over ownership is spreading around the world fast. This allows people to save time, money and space, make friends and “become active citizens once again”. The book shares thousands of examples of Collaborative Consumption from around the world, all reinventing what and how we consume. Some examples include Gumtree, eBay, Crashpadder, Zopa, Barclays Cycle Hire (The Boris Bike), Zipcar, Landshare, Swishing, LoveFilm, and many, many more.
This is definitely a book to make you reconsider the way you think about your buying habits and it will definitely give you the kick, motivation and inspiration you need to do something about it.