Buying locally, buying organic and buying natural; all things I’ve started to master over the last few months of my “going green” journey. Whether it’s switching to eco beauty products, or spending my pennies on locally grown veggies; I slowly feel like I’m getting to grips with what it means to “buy sustainably”. But buying less – or nothing at all – well…I still have a little way to go on that one!
But there’s one thing that’s been popping up almost everywhere recently; reminding us that we can easily change the way we consume, use and discard everyday items, skills and services. It’s being called the sharing economy…and its saving us time, money and – in essence – our planet.
Whether it’s lending a lawn mower to a neighbour, swapping an old bookcase for a bed frame or pooling in as a collective to purchase something as a community; sharing has become not only practical, sustainable and money saving…but pretty darn cool! Sites like Streetbank.com are booming; with over 41 thousand people signed up on that site alone; to share, borrow and swap things with people locally.
But I was brought up an only child. So the very mention of the word “sharing” fills me with a feeling of fear and dread. But opening up your home, car and life to sharing isn’t actually as scary as it might first seem; and in fact, it might just save you time, money and effort this summer.
5 ways sharing can save your summer
If you’re going to a festival this summer, you may already be expecting to spend lots of money on tickets, travel, food and camping essentials. But festival hopping need not be expensive. Sites like Bla Bla Car link you up with travel buddies to share the petrol costs or even offer you a lift.
It’s also worth enquiring if your chosen festival offers a pre-pitched tent service; in which tents left behind in previous years are recycled and set up ready for you on arrival (the ultimate in lazy green camping!)
2. BBQs and garden parties
Staying at home to party locally? Make sure you tap into local resources before stocking up on your BBQ essentials. As tempting as it may be to load up your car with brand new BBQs, garden furniture and novelty multi-coloured solar lights….stop! It’s likely that everything you need for your garden party lies lonely and unused in the shed next door.
Don’t be shy, knock on your neighbour’s door; or post a shout out on a sharing site like Streetbank to see if you can borrow something for free. Don’t forget to return the favour though 😉
3. House and pet sitting
Having two cats of my own, I know how much of a pain it can be to get someone to look after your pets when you go on your summer holiday. But swapping a favour with someone locally can actually save you heaps of money, and stress, in the long run. Dogvacay is also a great site linking you up with trusted, insured dog sitters while you are away.
Or, signing yourself up for site like airbnb means you may even be able to earn a little bit of money; simply by offering up your home for visitors whilst you are away! If you live in a commuter hot spot, you can even rent out your drive way to those seeking to save money from expensive car parking!
4. Cheap accommodation & free tour guides
In fact, you may also want to take advance of cheap accommodation and a potential in house tour guide yourself; by booking to stay in an airbnb for your own holiday.
With rooms available all around the world, you can save money and effort by staying with one of the locals; who may offer to share their inside knowledge, or even local discounts, with you whilst you soak up your trip away.
5. Adventure for free
Planning a trip with a bit more adrenalin? Before you go out and hire or buy expensive equipment, check out Spinlister.com. There you can search for surf, snow or cycle equipment to rent for half the price you might usually expect to pay.
Already got the gear? Don’t be shy, earn an extra few pennies for your next adventure and rent out your equipment when you’re not using it!