Blog

Farmhopping in good company with Airbnb, Snapgoods and Side Car

11/07/2014

              We’re going to speak about shared economy. What else could an economy be if not shared? Well, that’s a good question!

The idea behind the term is that property is an outdated concept, and it isn’t that cool anymore to have all that many gadgets that you get rid of every month because of the newest trend out there. The tendency is towards finding the most innovative way to get the job done, without all those excessive possessions, or at least with some reasonable moderation. This is possible through the joint efforts, construction, production, delivery, and use of products (or better off services) by a greater amount of people and organizations.

              It has to do with an anti-consumerism trend, but the idea is far from a Scrooge McDuck lifestyle. It isn’t about depriving ourselves, it is more about rethinking the ways in which we answer all our daily needs and wishes. And then again, we could put aside for the moment the question about what we need, and consider, instead, what our poor Mother Nature has to say about its beauties getting contaminated by our once beloved not-at-all-flat-screen TVs, fridges, improperly disposed of batteries, and the worst of all antagonists – plastic bottles?

             The idea and values behind many of the coolest new companies revolve around responsibility (actual responsibility rather than a plain word written on a virtual piece of paper). They offer innovative strategies to fight excess, they abolish built-in obsolesce, they upgrade products to be reused in new ways, or even better – they substitute products with services. These company are in the “helping us be responsible about our everyday choices and rebuilt the environment together” business.

             And before discarding the idea with a simple “Why wouldn’t I drive my own car, have my own washing machine, buy yoghurt from the 24/7 supermarket chain across the street…?”, consider the “being responsible” path once again. We have gotten used to many convenient ways, which were born out of very unsustainable business models. Shared economy is the alternative path, and we need not look at it as the hard choice. We could, instead, choose to see it as the only right path, from which we wandered off at some point along the way. 

             Shared economy suggests car-pooling, keeping separate trash bins, designing your own clothes, looking after your own tomatoes… At a second glance it isn’t that bad – somebody else thinks about car insurance when storm of hail strikes, and tomatoes cost you less and don’t taste like plastic.

             And then again, if you know nothing about tomatoes, there sure is some app that helps you take care of your little garden at home, or a website that helps you get the tomatoes directly from a network of farms, easily accessible through your neighborhood food buyer group.

             farmhopping is shared economy.