This weekend my friend Colin approached me with an idea. “Webman, I love reading your blog, but how about weaving in some stories about really good things.” Today will be the first article about our changing world, what good is being done and what we can all do to make it a better place to live. More importantly, to have an impact. Thanks Colin.
Stuff. We all accumulate it and eventually form all kinds of emotional attachments to it. Digital platforms and cloud-based tools are making it increasingly easy to have all the things we want without actually owning them. Here are a few services that help shrink your carbon footprint, lighten your economic load and generally liberate you from the shackles of stuff through the power of sharing. Access is better than ownership.
SnapGoods allows you to rent, borrow and lend within your community. SnapGoods takes things step further by expanding the notion of “community” not only to your local group — neighborhood, office or apartment building — but to your social graph across the web’s trusted corners. The site features full Facebook and Meetup integration, extending your social circle to the cloud.
You can browse the goods people in your area are lending or take a look at what they need and lend a hand (or a sewing machine, as may be the case) if you’ve got the goods. www.snapgoods.com
Swap.com is a simple yet brilliant platform for swapping your media possessions — from books to DVD’s to vinyl — once they’ve run its course in your life as you hunt for the next great thing. The site has facilitated some 1.6 million swaps, saving its users an estimated $10.3 million while reducing their collective carbon footprint by 9.3 million tons.
Inspired by the founders’ moms, whose lunch dates with girlfriends turned into book-swap clubs, Swap.com makes sure that the only thing between you and the latest season of 24 is the price of postage. www.swap.com
Most of us are familiar with the concept of re-gifting. GiftFlow allows you to swap gifts you don’t want for ones other people don’t want but you do. The platform is based on a system reputation, where your profile shows all you’ve given and taken, building an implicit system of trust through transparency. www.giftflow.org
Some cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Denver are fortunate enough to have thriving bike sharing programs, but there is no single service available across different locations. Zipcar, a 24/7, on-demand car sharing service gives its members flexible access to thousands of cars across the U.S, U.K., and Canada. Zipcar is the most promising solution to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in cities while reducing the actual number of drivers. www.zipcar.com
Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor. More than an Outkast lyric line, this is the inspiration behind Share Some Sugar — a celebration of neighborliness through the sharing of goods and resources. The service lets you borrow, rent and share stuff within your neighborhood or group of friends. www.sharesomesugar.com
Much of this blog was sourced from the great folks at The Daily Good. Check them out at www.dailygood.org.
Have a great day.