A Brand New Series from Y’earn: The Sharing Economy

You may not realise it, but consumer behaviour is responsible for more than 60% of the globe’s greenhouse gas emissions AND almost 80% of the world’s water use. This is partially driven by the fast-paced and convenience oriented society that we live in, where time is a precious commodity and saving money where possible is vital to tackle the rising costs of living. But there are more sustainable alternatives to traditional goods and services. One of the best ways to live in a more sustainable way is through participating in the sharing economy.

But what exactly is the sharing economy? Glad you asked.

The sharing economy is a system that allows interactions between individuals, creating a sharing of access to goods and services.… oh and it can be monetised! These interactions are often facilitated by an online platform allowing industries within the sharing economy to grow in popularity exponentially over the past decade or so. People in the UK are increasingly participating in industries that operate within the sharing economy, with approximately 62% of the population having used the sharing economy in some form. Perhaps you’ve used a service or rented a good from the sharing economy and not even realised it.

With increasing climate awareness and consciousness of the necessity of sustainable living, the sharing economy’s importance and potential is only increasing. To explore this exciting marketplace, Y’earn has produced a five part series on the origin and growth of the sharing economy in the UK. 

A new series from Y’earn

This week we are launching the first article, focused on how the sharing economy has evolved and why exactly it has gained so much popularity in recent years. It sketches the importance that sharing has held within communities throughout the history of human civilisation, from farming and resource gathering to the division and sharing of land. The article details how in the late 20th century, with the emergence of the internet, sharing became a more easily monetised avenue. eBay launched this revolution, before other now widely renowned companies entered the picture, including Craigslist, AirBnB and Uber.

Hard to imagine life without those companies now, eh? AirBnB often provides more affordable, convenient and comfortable accommodation as an alternative to hotels. The website has allowed people to experience the culture of an area more intimately, allowing anyone to live like a local. Uber has revolutionised transport, often providing comfortable rides at a price cheaper than a traditional taxi. You can even choose to share your ride with strangers, making it cheaper for you and reducing carbon emissions by optimising the amount of passengers per ride.

The sharing economy is adaptable

Also detailed in the article are the dangers that Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns posed to the sharing economy. Many feared that as everyone was restricted to their homes with minimum socialisation allowed, that an economy centred on the importance of social activity and sharing would be hugely impacted and have to grind to a halt. Fortunately, the sharing economy adapted, and lockdown actually encouraged people to pay more attention to the sustainability of their lifestyles and gave them time to discover brilliant services focused on sharing and reusing goods and services. 

If you’re interested in finding out about this topic in more detail, then read the first entry in our sharing economy blog series over on Medium. Stay tuned for fortnightly additions to the series, which will be exploring topics such as the industries leading the sharing economy and the demographic of users within the sharing economy. Or signup to our newsletter and never miss an article.

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Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people and small businesses in your community or make some cash if you have items you don't need right now. We plant 🌲 and adopt 🐝, plus give to children’s charities.

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