I walk my preschool-age kids through the perilous waters of sharing every day.
"Can I have a turn?" one child asks the other. Small fingers inevitably tighten around the fateful object. I must tread lightly: "What' is more important," I ask, "the shovel or your brother?"
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Wide-eyed silence reflects the irrelevancy of my question. Loving her brother doesn't erase the power of possession, or the fear of letting go.
So we establish boundaries and protocols to make sharing positive.
And the more she shares, the more he shares, the happier they both feel.
It's this basic principle that's given rise to the sharing economy (aka "collaborative consumption"). By providing a framework to enable sharing, innovative organizations are helping individuals experience its joys and the benefits.
Share a ride
Organizations like Live Ride connect drivers with passengers who share travel expenses.
Not driving? Share your vehicle! Peer-to-peer rental isn't yet in Canada, but companies like Relay Rides are making tracks in other parts of the world.
Bypass ownership entirely and join a car coop like Modo. Thousands of people enjoy the convenience of having a car when and where they need one without the hassle and cost of ownership.
Share a roof
In 2012, more than 2.5 million people used Airbnb, the networking tool that connects travellers with spare rooms. This bed-but-no-breakfast is a relaxed, more affordable spin on the traditional B&B. Similarly, Couchsurfer helps people travel the world sleeping on "new friends" couches!
Share food production
You've got outdoor space. She's got time and garden know-how. Sharing Backyards helps you partner up so you'll both enjoy the goodness of fresh food!
Go a step further — share a cow.
Share a bike
Bike Shares are on the rise worldwide, popular on Canadian university campuses and catching on in municipalities. Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto all have programs, and Vancouver's is set to launch in 2014.
Share absolutely anything
Imagine a community where neighbours can borrow a chainsaw, a wheelbarrow or a waffle iron. Sites like Yerdle are making that once-common practice a reality again! Because when it comes to creating a sustainable future, less is more!
Have any sharing stories to share?
Tovah Paglaro, a fellow Queen of Green