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Collaborative Consumption Principles

15/03/2013

collaboration The world continues to change and we continue to see resurgence in ways of life that have worked in the past. This is true with collaborative consumption, as it is gaining momentum again in a variety of areas of lifestyles. The short definition is to share the use of something. This can apply to many things, from those who like to trade books for reading, to the sharing of bicycles and cars as modes of transportation, usually in large cities such as New York. Collaborative consumption also applies to food products and usually entails some type of community garden. In more broad terms, it is used in relation to sustainability and the long-term maintenance and ecology of our planet. Some of the principles include:
  • Land Sharing for Gardening Purposes or Land Use
This can be as simple as an agreement between a land-owner and a farmer or gardener. One owns the land, while the other one works it. The results are shared, whether simply enough for their own families or also producing products to sell.
  • Lifestyle Collaboration
This generally is garden sharing with more people involved. From the group of neighbors in Sacramento we shared in a recent blog to non-profit organizations banning together in larger cities, this brings neighbors together to work in community gardens. One larger-scale example is Sharing Backyards, which was first formed in Victoria. BC as a sustainable garden six years ago, and has grown to more than 20 cities in North America.
  • Produce Exchange or Redistribution
Whether you live in a rural or urban area, this can work for you. You may have chickens that lay an excess of eggs for your family to utilize. Your neighbor may plant zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. And, yet another neighbor may have fruit trees. Instead of letting the excess and often organically grown products, go to waste you can simply trade them around. Maybe a dozen eggs is worth a dozen squash, or a basket of stone fruit to you. The value is in sharing the products, not particularly what you would pay in the supermarket. 

The principles are simple and the benefits are great. Collaborative consumption is back and can help the environment, while providing for our families.