Yes, Sharing is Caring. It’s also Something Completely Different. (and a Giveaway!)


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This giveaway has ended.

Hi, I’m Beth. I’m the author of a new book called Sharing is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resources through Collaborative Consumption. If you’re thinking, “no duh, sharing is good–I don’t need a book to tell me that,” you’re right. Kind of.

The idea that sharing is good isn’t a groundbreaking one. In fact, it’s so simple, it’s one of the first social/life lessons we teach our kids. ‘Share your toys, share your cookie. It’s not nice when you don’t share.’ Kids get it (or so we hope). So what happens when we become adults? We stop sharing. We start to complain about “the economy” and talk about how “money doesn’t grow on trees.” We start to see possessions as a commentary on our status in life, and are secretly glad when we have things others don’t.

The Good Human recently took a left turn away from the typical “green tips and shopping guides” and I find that absolutely refreshing. One of the main reasons I wanted to write Sharing is Good was that I kept banging my head against the same “big green wall”.

Sharing is Good

I’m an environmental blogger (translation: not rich). Things I tell other people to buy (bamboo clothes/solar panels/electric cars, etc.) are often out of my own reach. Like The Good Human, I grew to hate the consumption and futility of it all. I began to see that the real power for change lies in people–our connections and support of each other.

The rapidly growing sharing economy is a way to capitalize on that people power. It replaces the quest for ownership with opportunities for access. After all, we really don’t need the CD, we just want to listen to the music. If your car sits in the driveway 23 hours a day, and your neighbor has to take the bus, why not find a way to share?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a green blogger, it’s that most people won’t ever get on board with sacrifice. Sure, we’ll bring our reusable bags and shell out for organic food, but stop enjoying things altogether? Not gonna happen.

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  1. My name is Nancy and I have been receiving the Good Human emails for about 6 months and really enjoy them. I too am weary of the environmental band wagon of commericaliz-ium. I receive Gaiam catalogs among others and I cannot afford one thing in it. I do not need a $20 wooden rack to recycle plastic bags. I do not know how that saves the world. I have never heard of “sharing” as in communities, but I am very interested. I am active in several organizations, so the idea of sharing my self is obvious. And I share well with my friends and loved ones. However, sharing of material goods publicly is wholly new to me and I would like to know more. Our household has been practicing environmentally sound practices for decades. We recycled before there were recycle bins (at $41 a pop from the city). Please enter me in the contest.
    Thank you for your interesting “sharing” of ideas.

  2. Sharing is something I grew up with. Neighbors shared what they had whether it was tools, knowledge or time. Today I still pass that idea on. With my children grown with families of their own we share to save money and resources. When Christmas rolls around I loan out extra dishes to my son and wife to avoid them having to buy extra they would only use on that one day of the year. We share tools, and I even shared my car with them before I finally signed the car over to them as they needed it more than I did.

    In my apartment building which is small, only 16 apartments, we share what we have. One neighbor shares gardening tools, we share seeds and know-how to those just learning to garden. Kitchen supplies are often borrowed rather than bought. With winter here I was the only one who had a shovel for snow. I leave it outside my door and let everyone use it who needs it. One person leaves their laundry detergent in the laundry room for any one to use who may have run out but needs do to a load to save them running to the store for one item.

    When my neighbor received 2 large boxes of apples from her mother’s apple trees she offered me half if I would keep her company and help process the apples.

    At one end of the apartment building are two businesses. The one provides me with cardboard boxes for building raised garden beds and the other gives me office space to sell furniture I find and restore. So even space is shared.

    I think this book is a wonderful way to introduce sharing to people who haven’t been exposed to sharing as a way of life, I would like to not be entered in the drawing. From your comments I believe there are others who would benefit more from it than I would. Thanks.

    1. Hi Lois,

      Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story (of sharing!) You provide a great example of the abundance that’s possible when a sharing mentality permeates every aspect of our lives. If you’re not interested in owning your own copy of Sharing is Good, please request it through your local library so that it can be accessed by all!

  3. I’ve been cyber friends with both Dave and Beth for years and have been following along with what they’ve been doing over the years with interest. Thank you both for taking a different spin on the Green.

    It’s great to see refreshing approaches to this positive change movement that we’ve been involved in for so long. Way to go Beth!

  4. I would enjoy reading the book as well as sharing it with others at the coworking space I founded. I’m beginning to work on building a shareable library at our space.

  5. I was just in NYC last weekend from my tiny town of Burlington in Iowa. I refused to buy a thing. I was sickened by the consumer nightmare. All the holiday decor was fabulous, amazing, and stunning. The amount of money spent on encouraging people to buy, buy, buy endlessly made me nauseous. How wonderful if we could funnel ea tenth of that money toward bettering our planet, feeding our hungry.

  6. One of my favorite ways of sharing is using our local library and encouraging everyone else to use it – it really is our community living-room. We also use Free Cycle, but know we can & should do more, so I am looking forward to reading the book. If our library doesn’t have a copy in the system by the time I’ve finished it, I’ll donate it to the collection.

    1. Hi Katharine! Yes! Libraries are one of the oldest and most awesome forms of collaborative consumption. Now, as digital starts to replace print, many libraries are becoming community centers–branching out into things like tool-lending libraries and coworking!

      Also, you bring up a really good point that I wanted to reiterate to everyone: if you don’t win (and prefer not to buy a copy of Sharing is Good) please request it through your local library!!

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