Collaborative consumption

TIME Magazine calls collective consumption one of the 10 ideas that will change the world. But the thing about collaborative consumption is that it thrives on critical mass.

You need punters to post their stuff or skills to create a marketplace. So we’ve listed a few of our favourite sites for Sydneysiders. Pay a visit to one or two, share something or sign up and make a new friend along the way.

1. Go Get / Flexicar / Green Car Share – gives you all the benefits of a car, without the hassle and expense of owning one. Access a network of locally parked cars for an hour or days at a time. When finished, just return to a dedicated parking bay and avoid the hunt for a car park! Or visit Car Next Door or DriveMyCar rentals to borrow your neighbour’s car when they don’t need it.

2. Open Shed – make money from the things that sit idle in your house; think drills, ski gear, lawn mowers, or bikes, and rent those things you don’t have room to store or use once in a blue moon. Who could pass up an Abba fancy dress costume for a mere $2 a day?

3. Friends with Things – a little like Open Shed but things are shared for free and the focus is on keeping things local.

4. SpaceOut – brings together people who are looking for cheap local storage space with those who have spare room in their home or business.

5. Find A Uniform – lets you search or list a huge array of second-hand uniforms ranging from school tunics and Scout uniforms, to ballet shoes.

6. Freecycle / Ziilch / OzRecycle – great sites to get free things from people near you and give away stuff you don’t need.

7. Jayride – travel A to B by carpool, rideshare, bus, shuttle, relocation cars and more or share your journey and make some cash, get to know your neighbours and commute faster in the transit lane.

8. MeeMeep – connects people on the move to people with stuff to move. So if you’ve got stuff to move, you can save time and money. And if you’re on the move, you can earn a little extra money.

9. Divvy – puts the fun back in parking by connecting people who want to rent out their driveway, apartment parking or garages, with those who need to find a parking space.

10. Landshare – connects those with land to share with those who need it to grow food.

11. Airbnb – fantastic global site that matches people seeking holiday or short-term rentals with those with rooms to rent. Rent out your spare bed for a month or your entire flat while you’re sunning it up on Easter holidays.!

12. Gomi – you see an abandoned item on the city streets. You list it, anyone claims it. Think couches, TVs, dressers, desks, trampolines and more.

13. Streetbank – allows you to see all that your neighbours are giving away or lending. It’s a giant attic, garden shed, toolkit, fancy dress chest and library for you and anyone living within a mile of your home. It’s big in the UK and needs your interest to get traction here.

14. Join a library! Collaborative consumption has been around for longer than you think. We’re lucky to have loads of incredible libraries in our city and sharing a book or reading a second-hand copy is one of the oldest forms of collcons. And not only are there shelves of books, Surry Hills, Glebe and Waterloo have a toy library too!

Our list is by no means exhaustive, so if you’ve got sites that you love to visit that aren’t on our radar, please let us know in the comments below.

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