5 Collaborative Consumption Websites You Should Know

Trust is the currency, sharing is the way

Feb 18, 2013
Special Collections: THE ECONOMY OF LIFE

Image from Flickr user Lars Plougmann 

Collaborative Consumption is a 21st century take on the old custom of bartering and exchanging services. The new economic model is one of sharing, and the mode of communication is via the internet. Individuals have the opportunity to swap, share or rent from others, doing away with direct ownership. Below is a list of some of the most innovative collaborative consumption sites that deal in the currency of trust.

1. HOUR EXCHANGE PORTLAND

WHAT A nonprofit connecting people who swap services and talents with one another.
IN DETAIL Instead of using money, the currency is members’ time, earning credit for each hour of service. In exchange, they can use their credits to receive other awesome services from fellow members. Services range from health care and legal advice to home repair and transportation. This circle of reciprocity has already brokered the exchange of 450,000 hours, and is open to businesses, families and individuals of all ages.

Image: screenshot of Hour Exchange Portland

2. CITY CARSHARE

WHAT Carsharing is a model of car rental where vehicles can be rented by the hour.   
IN DETAIL Carsharing not only saves people money on gas, insurance and repairs - it’s also a whole lot greener. City CarShare members have reduced the amount of C02 in the atmosphere by millions of pounds. The Bay area nonprofit also gives back to the community with a program called CommunityShare, a subsidized membership for moderate to low income customers.

Image: screenshot of City CarShare

3. SHAREMYSTORAGE

WHAT Connects those who need storage space to individuals who have the extra space to give.
IN DETAIL The website, a marketplace for leasing and renting storage space, is free to join - except for the one-week-rental commission charged by ShareMyStorage for each completed transaction (paid by the storage provider).   

Image: screenshot of ShareMyStorage

4. CASAHOP

WHAT Enables users to swap their homes and save on accommodation expenses while traveling.
IN DETAIL Unlike other home exchange websites, on Casahop it's your existing social media network - not strangers - that serves as your Casahop community. Users sign up with their Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, so home exchanges are made within your online community: you know who you're exchanging homes with. If you're the host, you can rest assured your house is in good hands. If you're the guest, you're comfortable knowing who you're dealing with.

Image: screenshot of Casahop

5. TASKRABBIT

WHAT Outsources small jobs and tasks to people in your ‘hood.
IN DETAIL TaskRabbit comes in handy when don’t have time to pick up dog food or are looking for someone with a specific skill to help you out. Those seeking TaskRabbits name their price and required service, and then choose from whoever meets their needs. If you are on the run, the iPhone app can be a lifesaver when you need some friendly neighborly service in a pinch.

Image: screenshot of TaskRabbit

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