Thanks for Sharing
In this fascinating book, Eleanor Tucker sets out a bold vision of how sustainable sharing can save us money, and lead to a happier future.
What is the Sharing Economy? How can it help us live more affordable, more sustainable, and ultimately more fulfilling lives? What would happen if for one year a family pledged to share as much as they possibly can? Instead ofowning more and more stuff, what it’s like to stop owning things and borrow, lend, rent and swap instead?
These are big questions, but features writer Eleanor Tucker sets out to answer them in this thoroughly absorbing and entertaining guide to sustainable sharing, or as it is also known, 'collaborative consumption'.
In this engrossing study, Eleanor straps us into on her year-long experiment along with her somewhat reluctant family. Over the course of the year, with the aid of various sharing apps, they will pledge to buy as few new things as possible, instead relying on the power of sharing, lending, renting and borrowing to supply their needs.
Each chapter introduces a different type of sharing into her day to day life, from the little ‘things' (food, clothes) to the bigger ’things' (cars, furniture, the space around us), and shows how the growth of tech has revolutionized an age-old practice.
The book contains best-for recommendations based around different types of sharing, to create an easily accessible shortcut into sharing.
Written with warm and relatable humour as well as a deeply-researched knowledge of the history of sharing, this unmissable guide could truly change the way you consume.
As someone who is going through a life phase where less is more in terms of stuff we own, I couldn’t wait to open this book and be informed and educated on the world of sustainable sharing. If, like me, peer-to-peer sharing is something you’ve vaguely heard of, but don’t quite understand, this book will tell you all you need to know.
What an eye-opener it was, full of great ideas and recounted with humour, as Eleanor does the hard work of trying and testing the various sharing apps available, encouraging us as she does so to widen our horizons, try before we buy, save money and make money. We have dabbled in some sharing schemes but learning the difference between real peer-to-peer, and companies who own a fleet of something (more often what we have used) that we rent out when needed, was just one thing this book taught me.
As well as the day-to-day life of a newly committed sharer, checking in on her apps to ensure she doesn’t miss a local bargain and working sharing in around family life, Eleanor also adds helpful Do and Don’t summery tables, and suggests apps available in UK, US/Canada and Australia. I was amazed at what could be shared, aside from rooms (Airbnb) and transport (cars, bicycles, scooters, car journeys (we have BlaBlaCar here in France for that)). Eleanor starts off with food sharing, where you find someone else to use up anything that might otherwise end up in the bin. Then she tries out clothing, including accessories like handbags and shoes, before moving on to dogs, furniture and home décor, but it doesn’t stop there. What I particularly enjoyed was the added viewpoints of the historians and experts, who basically reminded us that the app for your mobile phone might be new, but the concept of sharing goes way back.
Living in rural France, I am probably at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of what is available locally, (there is no way the planet would thank me for jumping in my car and driving a 45km round trip just to pick up a box of food that is destined for landfill) but I still learned a lot about this fascinating new/old way of living more sustainably. Apps are proving to be a way of connecting the community to the benefit of everyone, but again, this is not a new idea. One of the things we have lost in recent years is our sense of community and the norms of neighbours pulling together to borrow a cup of sugar, to take a meal to someone struggling (and avoid leftovers being thrown away) or to borrow items for special events.
Owning and storing stuff that we rarely use weighs down our mental health, costs us money and is no good for the planet, so anything that helps towards a more sustainably way of living gets my vote.
Eleanor Tucker is a former advertising creative and features writer for The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Marie Claire, and Psychologies, commentating on gender, society, sustainability, tech and lifestyle. She now writes, speaks, and advises startups all over the world on the sharing economy space.
She is on the board of the CBI council Sharing Economy UK, and also co-founded and chairs the committee of the Sharing Economy Global Summit. Passionate about the potential of online platforms to democratize, empower communities and help us live more sustainably. Elle advises on gig and sharing economy models – working internationally to help start-ups and scale-ups to launch, grow and thrive. Originally from Oxford in England, Eleanor was educated at Edinburgh University in Scotland, where she now lives with her husband and two young children. THANKS FOR SHARING is her first book.
Social Media Links