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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Sharing economy

Kirjoittanut: Taru Jytilä - tiimistä SYNTRE.

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Sharing economy 

You might have heard from the term collaborative consumption or sharing economy. They are very trendy at the moment as people have realized we buy too much and too often. Back in my childhood and teenage age usually the money we got from our parents weekly, was used in something rather silly or not really necessary items. For example, you got 20€ per week and spend it usually on some clothing, food or candies.

This has changed since the younger generations have borned. Millenials were born between 1981 and 1994, which category I fall into as well. We were not so strict with our money usage , we did not know about the over consumption which was happening and most likely we did not have so much money in our usage either.

The new generation called Gen Z seem to be much more interested about the worlds situation, where they spend their money and what are they buying. Of course, the new technology has brought more information of the world’s situation in their hands. Tiktok is bringing you knowledge from the other side of the world, we are seeing the wealth differences more clearly than before. (Kasasa)

“ Don’t buy. Rent, borrow and share”.

Sharing economy is a way of culture, where you spend your resources better than before. Lets take for example a community car, which is owned by a household of 12 people. Instead of all the families buying a car, they can all use the same car. Of course you can not use it whenever you might need, but imagine the savings you deduct by not buying your own vehicle. Insurances, mechanical works and the car itself. You save money, environment and might gain social benefits.

There are several communal apps nowdays that can help you connect with the people around you. One for instance is called “ Commu” app. You can ask for help, for instance you bought a painting and you would need a screwdriver to install it in the wall. Might be that one of your neighbor has it , so why not to ask for help?

Another good example is the communal workspaces that are coming more popular in crowded cities. Tampere and Helsinki has several communal offices, where you can rent out a small space to work in. It reduces your costs and makes it more comfortable to work, rather than work from you apartment.

Sharing economy is not some utopian ideology that money is not needed. Of course, money is still needed. Its rather to think about the options to maybe buy it used.

If your friend has a machine you need for ten minutes, why not borrow it from him?

One of our Proakatemia companies called Vuokratori has definitely  internalized the meaning of sharing economy and is brilliantly helping out people in need with expensive tools and machines which they only need for a short while. A life circle of a power drill is a good example. It is on average used 18 minutes of its lifetime, the rest of the years its gaining dust in the warehouse. It is creating 51kg of waste to produce it.

We have people fixing old furniture and clothes more and more these days. People are rather buying better quality clothes and furniture that lasts. As an consumer it is not easy to find out which products are better quality, as higher price is not always the definition of better quality.

There is a group called Global Footprint Network Suomi, which had calculated last years consumption. Finland exceeded the limit of over spending on 31.3.2022 , 3 months after the year had started. So we have a lot to improve.

We have leasing deals for expensive machines, cars and electronics. This is a sign of going to the right direction.

If you baked too many buns , bring them to work or drop them off for your neighbors. Sharing is caring.

The life circle of our products is too short and some companies are intentionally producing products which would not last long, in order to gain their sales for the product.

On average the products we buy are sitting in the closet for 99% of their life circle. Give them another life by selling them in second hand market , or give them out for charity. People are not too good with recycling.

There is a lot of invisible waste. If you buy 200g phone , it has needed 86kg of waste to build the phone.

We need more ways to overcome the obstacle of buying too much products and food. If your bicycle brakes, you could try to find help to repair it instead of buying a new one ? There was a proposal made, that all private people could earn 5000€/year tax free for renting out their personal belongings.

If you own land, you could start to grow some vegetables, potatoes or berries. People have forgotten how to be self-sufficient. For baby boomers ( generations born 1946-1964) it was foregone conclusion as they had to manage by their own. We are relying on shops too much now days.

If someone would come up with some genius ways of stopping over usage of resources, I believe they would be millionaires. So put your thinking hat on and try to come up with ways to stop the over usage in your own life. I have started to give out all unused clothes , shoes and accessories to my family and friends kids , so that the products can have a longer life circle.

Maybe next time your thinking of buying more expensive product, think if you could buy it together with someone so that the product will be used more often and the cost will be smaller?




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