Collaborative Consumption

I am discovering the topic of "collaborative consumption" in order to find out if this is a concept that could be established and adapted in our society to create a more sustainable economy.

Is it really possible?

Yes – it is. As companies like Carpooling have shown how it works.

The site has 4.3 million registered users that have traveled over 150 million kilometers saving over a million tons of CO2.

People are already benefiting from it. It is no longer new or strange to do couch-surfing, share a car, resell your clothes or other items. It is rather a way out of destroying the resources we have furthermore, out of corruption and out of the unsustainable way of living of the last years.

What holds us back?

There are several reasons for people not to follow the example of so many other people who already realized that how they behave and act is inappropriate taking in consideration the world’s development.

In my last post I already reported on some reasons for this behavior:

  • laziness
  • lack of information
  • lack of technological know-how

But actually this week I experienced a reason that for me is the worst one.
The website www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de which is a platform where people can offer seats in their car. I have already profited from this service. It serves to save some money, you get to know new people and you get to the place you want to go to.
However recently the owners of the website introduced commission fees. For each person you carry with you, you have to give 30% of the price you get paid to mitfahrgelegenheit.de. Thus, a lot of people abandoned the mitfahrgelegenheit-community and decided to orientate themselves differently. Consequently there are a lot of people who loose access to that service and who can’t profit from it anymore. The actual sense of collaborative consumption got lost here.

I think this is especially a sad case, because the website started being a really good example showing how collaborative consumption can be implemented in our society, but now it is revealed that the corruption is so manifested and sessile in people’s minds that it is still a long way to go to achieve the concept of a more sustainable economy.

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