If you have used a service of shared bicycles in a city or you’ve shared car by contacting via the Internet, you already form part of the people who bet on this new way of consumption called collaborative consumption.
But, what is the collaborative consumption? It consists in the access to goods and services that you haven’t got, but you rent, share, lend, exchange or give. The innovation is in the jump from local areas to wider ones, even global areas, thanks to the new technologies and the Internet. This system is growing more and more due to the economic crisis and the environmental awareness.
How does it work? The interested people register in a virtual community and create a public profile. It is offered the available product to share (cars, holidays rental…) and when the exchange is over, both parts can assess each other. These ratings appear in the public profile, making the reputation of each member this way. In short, the aim is to build trust among unknown people.
There are many and various collaborative consumption projects. You can find websites of children clothing exchanges, auction and sale of goods and services, items gift, free accommodation in other people's houses arround the world, rent rooms or flats for days or weeks, and much more.
As a sustainable and collaborative alternative, shared mobility is on the rise. Carpooling (Blablacar, Amovens and others) is already well known all over the world. It puts passengers in touch with drivers who have free seats; so, both of them share expenses and help to save polluting emissions. In Spain, the 80% of the environmental pollution comes from car traffic.
Peer-to-peer carsharing (Socialcar and others) is less kown. Vehicle owners rent their private cars to others for short periods of time (hours, days) with a special insurance coverage. This system allows you to drive a car occasionally and gives the owner a help for the vehicle expenses while it's not used.
Explore this new stream by surfing the Internet and enjoy the available advantages and chances for everyone. The collaborative consumption helps us to be responsible consumers and to collaborate in the environmental protection.
Written by Rosa Gimeno Navarro
Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Valencia