Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New book on 'collaborative consumption'

Reviewed and described here, this ought to be of interest to people interested in sustainability -- even if some of it is a bit heavy with internet jargon. A lot of it is obvious when you think about it - why buy tools that you only plan to use once in a while when you can share them with your neighbours? New media and social networks does make this easier, though if we lived in more community-minded neighbourhoods then a noticeboard and a hanging pencil would probably work as well.

There are lots of initiatives like this starting at the moment, some of which seem to have a presence in Haringey - I've joined a local Streetbank group. Ecomodo seems to do the same thing, and I wish someone would do a comparison of the two. Justfortheloveofit.org proclaims itself the world's fastest-growing alternative economy - again, a bit of a delusion of grandeur, but worth a look.

Ultimately, green 'unconsumerism' is just the flip side of green consumerism - finding ways not to buy stuff is good, but it doesn't lead to an alternative economic system that provides us with livelihoods, pensions, and a properly funded welfare state, as well as the stuff that we want. For that we really would need to re-engineer the economy from top to bottom.

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