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How Others Are Living Well by Sharing

If you see people sneaking around a neglected lot, digging in the dirt, they may be guerrilla gardeners. Like using your cell phone to send city officials photos of potholes in the street, it’s another sign of the new wave of community-building and sharing.

Other fresh signs of sharing are sliver time volunteering, cohousing, book swaps, the Village Movement, free samples, car and ride sharing, co-creating house plans and local exchanges of free stuff.

Now there’s a whole online magazine dedicated to delights of the shareable life.

Trading is another approach to sharing. On your next vacation, save money and get to know another community when you trade homes with someone who lives there– and introduce each other to your neighbors and friends.

Relatedly, make extra money while helping others save it by renting what you already have. Think of your tools, office, parking or storage space, or even your couch.  And when you want something new, see if you can get it for less by getting others to buy one too.

Janelle Orsi and Emily Doskow describe other “sharing solutions” and Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers dub this trend “collaborative consumption” in their book What’s Mine is Yours.

How have you saved or made money, forged friendships or helped your community by sharing, swapping, renting or otherwise acting collaboratively?

Categories: Book, Caring, community, Sharing and tagged , , , , , , .
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  1. Michael Yanakiev
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    A very nice and humane post! I completely share the opinion, from one of the introduced book, reviews..
    “I don’t expect to embrace sharing as an entirely new way of life, but this book helped me see many new ways I can share more than I do now. It’s causing me to think and consider how I can help myself, help others, and help the planet. ” A lot still to learn about a variety of, poorly known experiences…

  2. Posted May 4, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I love these ideas. I have done book swaps quite a bit because I love to read and the library doesn’t always have the books right away. We used to share our snowblower with our neighbor when we lived in snow country. There was no point in us each having one, and we took turns buying gas for it. The bonus was that when one of the husbands was traveling the other took care of both driveways. In the future I would like to grow enough produce to swap with other neighbors who grow different things, but so far I’m not even close to growing enough to share.

  3. I’ve been a member of various homestay organizations since 1983. Wonderful way to travel, staying in people’s homes (for free) and I’ve formed many friendships this way. I also feel my kids are a lot more cosmopolitan for the occasional visitor from Europe or Australia or wherever dropping by for a couple of days. Currently in Servas and Couchsurfing.

    In 1990, when PostScript laser printers were $5000 and I was paying a dollar a page to use someone else’s, I found one remaindered for $2400 and organized a four-business co-op to make it affordable. Since I found the deal, it lived at my office. Pretty cool!

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