Centuries ago, humans didn’t have money or banks, but we survived by collaborating, bartering or trading.
Humans have a long history of sharing; however, we don't barter, trade or swap like we used to for several reasons. There are time constraints and safety concerns, but one of the key reasons we don’t share is because we use money.
In her new book, "Sharing is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resources Through Collaborative Consumption," Beth Buczynski explores a new type of economy, one based on sharing and collaboration, and offers steps we can take to expand our sharing networks.
"Currency doesn’t determine a thing’s value; we determine the value of currency," she writes. "If enough people get together and decide that they want to use something else as a form of currency, a new economy is born."
A sharing economy would be built around the sharing of human and physical resources, and Buczynski makes a convincing case that such a system would not only be better for the planet, but also for our communities.
"Sharing is Good" explores the history of human sharing and examines why we don't share as much today. It also makes compelling arguments for how and why we should shift to a sharing economy and provides a wealth of resources to get started.
Buczynski points out that many of us are already involved in a variety of sharing. From carpooling to work to investing in Kickstarter campaigns, sharing is still part of our daily lives.
"Sharing is Good" urges us to take sharing a step further. Suggestions include starting a community garden, participating in online clothing swaps or joining a sharing network where points can be accrued to exchange for goods and services from other participating sharers.
The book also includes an extensive resource guide that details a variety of sharing methods, as well as websites and sharing networks. Whether you're new to such collaboration or are simply looking for new ways to save money or live more sustainably, "Sharing is Good" will provide you a variety of ways you can get involved in the sharing economy.
"The beauty of the sharing economy is that it is free, so anyone can participate and make a difference,” Buczynski writes. “No one has to sacrifice their individuality or comfort. Best of all, when we're actively engaged in sharing, personal connections are rekindled and we become invested in our communities again."
Related files on MNN: