Eco-Living Magazine

How Collaborative Consumption Can Curb Overconsumption

Posted on the 10 January 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

How Collaborative Consumption Can Curb OverconsumptionOverconsumption not only harms the environment but creates debt, clutter and complexity in our lives. While PhD programs in business continue to strive for production efficiency and cost reductions, the abundance of goods available today provides an opportunity to leverage consumption. Collaborative consumption offers an alternative to ownership-based consumption. It fulfills needs and wants through renting and sharing goods rather than selling them. Although collaborative consumption does not present an entirely new concept, it is now rapidly growing and evolving.

Services that let people rent textbooks and movies form an important part of the collaborative consumption trend, according to the Huffington Post. It also comprises the repeated resale of used items, like clothing for children. Many young children can use such clothes before they wear out. Some companies rent items to people, while others facilitate the renting or sharing of items among individuals.

Agence France-Presse recently reported that many new companies have applied business models based upon collaborative consumption. Businesses can generate income by helping people exchange labor or rent out possessions. They earn money through commissions, fees or advertising revenue. Some of these companies have become very successful in a relatively short time.

Institutions and businesses are even saving money by utilizing their own form of collaborative consumption, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Many internet companies share the same computer servers, for example. Such practices even benefit competitors; it’s not uncommon for the same airplane to carry packages for both FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service.

The concept of collaborative consumption offers a variety of benefits.  It generally reduces costs for the renter or borrower and helps the owner of an item pay for its maintenance. Fewer people must shoulder the burden of individually paying for, maintaining and storing a possession. In addition,it reduces the need for individuals to clutter their homes and garages with countless items that they seldom use.

In contrast to overconsumption, collaborative consumption also fosters a sense of community while reducing the number of items that enter incinerators and landfills. Vehicle sharing reduces the congestion of roads and parking lots. Collaborative consumption also decreases the need for environmentally harmful mining and logging.

People are often led to believe that the economy can only benefit from rapid consumption of new products. However, many major corporations have achieved success by renting items to the public. This business model generates long-term income from each item, rather than one-time earnings that rely upon frequent sales. It proves more sustainable than overconsumption built on debt and marketing hype.

One sample of collaborative consumption involves a group of several neighbors who share a lawn mower. Each person contributes to the cost of maintenance and fuel. This saves money while reducing the amount of storage space they need. It’s possible to apply this on a for-profit basis; one company recently started using Internet-based reservations to rent rowboats by the hour.

The economic recession and the rise of the internet have helped to promote a revival of sharing practices, both for personal convenience and monetary gain. This concept involves activities ranging from traveling by bus to using a toy library. Collaborative consumption may offer the best way for people to meet their needs without indebting themselves or pillaging the environment.

[Image source]

Elaine Hirsch is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about topics ranging from history to medicine and videogames.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Designer Daddy’s Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

    Designer Daddy’s Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

    Road trips were a big part of my childhood. As a military family, that meant lots visits to grandparents and cousins each summer and Christmas. Most of these... Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Designerdaddy
  • Ancient Egypt - Stephen Mehler - Or Rather Ancient Khemit, Land of Osiris

    Ancient Egypt Stephen Mehler Rather Khemit, Land Osiris

    Ancient Egyptology has been annihiliated and re-purposed by decades of political manipulation.Ancient Egypt, though you didn't know this, was a Matriarchal... Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Freeplanet
  • Update: Toys R Us Liquidation (US Stores)/KayBee (KB) Toys Returning

    Update: Toys Liquidation Stores)/KayBee (KB) Returning

    Today, all 700+ Toys R Us stores in the United States were supposed to begin their liquidation sales. However, it looks like Friday, March 23rd, is the new... Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Ashley Brooke, Kewpie83
  • Kenton Slash Demon

    Kenton Slash Demon

    at Strøm festival 2017. A little secret, the reason I could make this perfect composition is because there is no audience in my way! Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Flemmingbo
  • Concert Review: Follow the Bouncing Bow

    Concert Review: Follow Bouncing

    Joshua Bell leads the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. by Paul J. Pelkonen Joshua Bell leads his troops. Photo by Erik Kabik © 2018 Erik Kabik. Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Superconductor
  • Beware: The Illusion of Therapy Vs. Actual Therapy

    This is a controversial topic because who’s to say what is therapeutic for someone? What brings relief to someone, what brings forward movement to someone’s... Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Nathan Feiles, Lmsw
  • The Importance of Exercise!

    Importance Exercise!

    by NinaPeggy Kelley, Age 67 "Exercise among middle-aged and older adults in the Western world is rare. By most estimates, only about 10 percent of people past... Read more

    The 22 March 2018 by   Ninazolotow