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How the sharing economy is saving the planet & connecting humanity

Globalization and our capitalist society have been responsible for our increased individualism. As technology has continued to advance, we have become increasingly self-reliant. It is not uncommon to have many steps involved within a supply chain. A product may be sourced in a country, packaged in a second one, and sold in a third!  Every step of the way requires fuel, energy, labour, and time, wasting unnecessary resources. There has been a push for buying local, and supporting local farmers and businesses as a solution to this sustainability problem. We are now going back to our roots as an interdependent community by relying on each other more and more. Enters the sharing economy model in the picture.  The sharing economy, also known as collaborative consumption or peer-to-peer-based sharing, is a concept that highlights the ability -- and perhaps the preference -- of individuals to rent or borrow goods rather than buy and own them.. Below, we list 5 ways in which we have been saving energy, and resources by the mainstream adoption of the sharing economy model. These are exciting times!

1) Car sharing model

In the past it used to be that you either drove a car, took public transit, or called yourself a taxi. With the introduction of car sharing services like Uber,  Lyft, and Amigo Express,  people are thinking twice about buying a car. Many college students, or people in between jobs will often resort to working for a ride sharing service part-time to make ends meet or make some extra cash. Car pooling with these ride sharing services is taking it one step further. Not only is an already existing car giving rides servicing more than the driver, but car pooling saves energy and fuel by saving on resources. If two people are going to destination A, why should two cars take them if one car can take them both? By making what once was a luxury an everyday convenience, more and more people are using such services. Therefore less cars on the road are needed, less fuel is used, and less pollution is generated. It's win win for everyone. 

2) Clothing Swap Parties

A woman's trash is another woman's treasure...right? Why throw away perfectly good clothing when you can give it a brand new home with someone who will love and cherish it? For this reason, more and more people are organizing independent meetup events where they get to swap clothing items with strangers, and make new friends! These events are either planned on social media platforms like Facebook or meetup.com. What a wonderful way to create new connections, recycle, and protect the planet from harmful textile pollution.

3) Sharing Things

Have you ever wanted to try a new recipe once and get discouraged when you found out you needed a fancy new appliance? So many kitchen gadgets and appliances are absolutely unnecessary and get discarded or stored away after just a few uses. This  is when services like  Peerby come in handy. Peerby allows you to borrow things like a blender for one time use. No need to buy long term use items for single use anymore. There are also local sharing groups you can find on Facebook that allow you to lend and borrow things you don't use that often. This saves you storage space, and creates less clutter in your life. The less things we have to produce, the more focus we put on resourcefulness instead of resources, the less waste we create, and less things make it to the landfill.

4) Home Sharing Services

Home sharing services like Homestay and Airbnb have become increasingly popular in the last few years. They can be found in all locations and come with the amnesties of your choice. According to an article published on the Airbnb website, home guests use considerably less energy than hotel guests! Home sharing is a fantastic way to use resources. Why leave a room or home vacant when it's still using resources when vacant? Why not rent it, and make it useful to someone else? Traveling on Airbnb results in significant reduction in energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste, and encourages more sustainable practices among both hosts and guests, suggests the study. Moreover, in one year alone, Airbnb guests in North America saved the equivalent of 270 Olympic-sized pools of water while avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 33,000 cars on North American roads. According to this article, Canada has a vacant home problem. Vacant homes still use electricity and generate monthly electricity bills. Ever gone on vacation for a month only to come back to an electricity bill anyway? 

5) Renting bridal and occasion wear

Do you have that one special occasion that requires you to wear an expensive gown or dress? Why spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a piece of clothing that you will wear only once? This article shows you where you can rent bridal dresses in Toronto. If you're not from the area, you can look for wedding gown rentals on Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook groups. You can also search for you city and the phrase "rent wedding dress" in a search engine. You can also find a list of services that let you rent out fashion and occasion wear for a fraction of the price of owning them. The more these items get to circulate around, the less likely they are to make it the trash anytime soon.

Now we want to know, which of these sharing economy services do you use? Do you like them? Let us know in our social media!
With love and compassion,

Team Karunaki

Photo 1 from Sophie Elvis on Unsplash
Photo 2 from Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Photo 3 from Unko Nakase on Unsplash
Photo 4 from  Kaur KristJan on Unsplash
Photo 5 from Brian Babb on Unsplash
Photo 6 from Freestocks on Unsplash