Ditch outright ownership in favour of borrowing or loaning goods and services, simultaneously helping your hip pocket and the environment.
Built on a premise of peer-to-peer exchanges of personal items or services, the sharing economy is a platform that provides access to said items or services (sometimes for a set period of time) meaning users avoid having to procure them outright. The online landscape is bursting with portals of so-called collaborative consumption where people can list items that they wish to rent out or borrow such as bicycles, cars, apartments and even parking spaces.
On a local scale, the sharing economy is very much in its infancy in India. Services offering accommodation, ridesharing and book swapping are gathering momentum in the online world and more are developing all the time. Below are a few portals allowing you to get in on the sharing spirit:
Bookswapping via BookChums. Kind of like an online library, book swapping allows you to loan your books out temporarily or browse the site for books that others are willing to loan.
Carpooling/ridesharing via Carpooling, Carpool and Pool My Car. Got a few spare seats in your car during your morning commute? Why not offer them to others heading in the same direction? Car pooling cuts the number of cars on the road which has countless benefits for the environment (as well as cutting down traffic) and you can even save some cash by asking participants to pitch in for gas.
Online secondhand goods exchange via Freecycle. Freecycle models have been around on the internet since well before Airbnb pushed the sharing economy into its boom phase. Participants can use the Freecycle portal to give away or procure all manner of second hand goods such as furniture, clothes and gardening equipment.
Find or offer accommodation. Airbnb has operations in India and is constantly expanding while CouchSurfing could be an option for the more budget-conscious traveller.
Rent or borrow a bicycle. Bicycle sharing in India had travelled a bit of a rocky road. The organisation Cycle Chalao tried to get a scheme off the ground in 2010 however it never really took off and was abandoned. In Bangalore, Kerberon Automations works with the Government of Karnataka to operate the ATCAG bicycle share program.
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