3 Things to Try in 2012, Collaborative Consumption Edition

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At BeenVerified, we’re sort of in love with a little thing called collaborative consumption. Collaborative consumption is a global movement to encourage the sharing of goods and services directly with people instead of through the traditional middle man (i.e. mega-marts and more established corporations).

So, while you’re writing those new year’s resolutions, why not throw a little collaborative consumption into the mix? Here’s how:

Rent out your services

Need a little cash here and there? Got a knack for fixing things, taking care of pets, or perhaps you’re a savvy personal assistant? Here’s the beauty of collaborative consumption: you can essentially rent out whatever you’re good at for some sort of compensation. So, if someone needs help shopping for that prom dress, your neighbor needs their front door fixed, or a traveler needs their dogs to be watched for a month, you can rent out this service.

Essentially, you are leveraging your high points (whatever they may be) for compensation, which is probably cheaper than using a third party. Everyone wins!

Think of traveling a little differently

Traveling is an important activity for many people, whether you’re going down the road or across the world. So, why not think of traveling in conjunction with collaborative consumption? Here’s the thing: you’re going to be renting cars or staying in hotels, so what’s wrong with contributing to this movement while you’re at it?

For example, CouchSurfing let’s you “bypass the typical hotel experience by staying at the home of a local and learning about their culture.” ZipCar let’s you rent a car whenever you need it, while at the same time saving your dough. AirBnB let’s you rent a place to stay from real people. All of these resources allows you take control on your travels, while at the same time contributing to the beautiful movement. In essence, you can have a richer travel experience if you are using these collaborative consumption friendly resources since they make your adventures a little less boring and little more appealing.

Start A “Consumer Co-op”

Aren’t there things that you need once in a while, but not all the time? Things that you really wish you had once or twice a year, that at most times sit idle? For example, certain tools like a power drill, an air mattress, or a camping stove. Well, instead of buying each of these items and watching them take up precious space in your home, start a consumer cooperative with your neighbors. All you need to do is figure out a way to share things that fit this category. (I know my wife only uses that bulky crock pot three times a year!) It is a great way to connect with people that live close by and helps everyone save money and space.

What do you guys think? How will you try a little collaborative consumption in 2012?