The World Economic Forum recently put forward a revolutionary vision of the future; that the economy of the future will be based on sharing, facilitated and operated by the Internet of Things. It sounds a little mind blowing, but stripping back the jargon, what we’re talking about is people sharing goods and services via apps. You probably do this to an extent already…
Indeed, most of us use the sharing economy already. If you’ve ever bought a chest of drawers on Gumtree, or a booked a night’s stay on Airbnb, you are already part of the new system. Although these are the big players at the minute, there are plenty more companies appearing. The brainchild of three East-London entrepreneurs, Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace, where users engage by renting out and borrowing items in their local areas. In this capacity, it allows users to access items they do not, or cannot purchase outright and promotes a lifestyle of trying new things at low costs. If you aren’t convinced, here are four reasons you should give sharing platforms serious thought.
Save the Planet
One of the biggest crises facing the planet is e-waste: the multitude of phones, cables, computers and other consumer electronics that each year we bin in favour of the newest model. It makes up 2% of landfill in America yet accounts for 70% of toxic waste produced. To tackle this problem the cycle of consumerism needs to shift; we need to limit buying new things as much as possible. This is why renting is the future. If you are to rent that camera you want for your daughter’s school play, or that power drill for building your new bed, not only are you saving money but also you are saving the planet. Considering that a power drill is used for only 13 minutes in its whole life, buying a lot of this stuff new is a complete waste of raw materials and comes at a hefty price for the environment. Borrowing instead of buying means you still have access to all the technology you need but with none of the marginal costs.
Cities can be notoriously unfriendly places. In face many of you will have likely never spoken to a single soul living on your street. The disconnect in cities and the lack of community in suburban areas is one of the massive downsides to living in an urban environment. If do feel this way, using platforms like Fat Lama can be a very effective way to meet people who are living around you. The structure of the app means that to make a rental you have to be meet people face to face and, given the nature of the transaction, you are likely to meet like minded individuals. For instance if you renting out your camera, the likelihood is that you will meet people who are into photography.
Cut Costs and Carbon
If you’re listing your items, you can also start saving money by borrowing stuff as well. The biggest barrier to trying new things is often the fact that to get involved with kayaking, or filmmaking, you need very specialist, up-market equipment that isn’t worth buying on a whim. Whereas if you’re bored this weekend, why not rent a surfboard, or a pair of Skis and try something new for cheap? Using the service can broaden your horizons and save you money on the irritating stuff like garden tools.
Earn Some Ethical Money
Along with the social and ecological impact renting your belongings out can have, you’ll also boost your personal income. We all have unused kit about the house; those DJ decks you loved when you were younger, or that DSLR that you only have time to use occasionally. Don’t let them sit gathering dust, get them online and turn them into active assets. Not only can you make back the money you spent in the first place but you can actually make serious profit off your belongings, with some users earning up to $5,000 per month; a sum greater than the average wage. So what are you waiting for?
This is a brief overview and there are plenty more benefits with getting involved with the sharing economy. What’s worth taking away from here is that being green and sustainable doesn’t have to be a negative, it can benefit everyone and be fun at the same time.
Green Prophet has teamed up with Fat Lama to give you $25 off your first rental. Click here to accept!