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Book review

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Book review

buy now at amazon.caWhat’s Mine is Yours by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers HarperCollins, 2010, 288 pages, $34.99 ISBN: 978-0-061963-54-4 Collaborative consumption is a term we may not be familiar with, but the concept is simple. It’s the deliberate sharing, lending, swapping, renting, or bartering of goods. Many of us are already involved in the practice— maybe without realizing it. If you’ve ever regifted, passed along a gently used book or a sweater, stayed with relatives when on vacation, carpooled, or rented a bike—you’ve been involved in collaborative consumption. In What’s Mine Is Yours authors Botsman and Rogers take us through the sharing model and explain how new technologies and the economic downturn have contributed to the rise of this collaborative movement. The authors suggest that a new realm of experience has been created through widespread access to the Internet combined with an ongoing social movement to reject the hyperconsumerism of the 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, consumers are seeking ways to help each other over the Net—providing access to goods and services while helping to save money and lower the negative environmental impact that unchecked consumption imparts. To help readers understand the reach of collaborative consumption, Botsman and Rogers have divided companies and organizations into three different systems. Producer service systems are defined as opportunities to use a product without owning it. Examples such as the car sharing company Zipcar fit here. Redistribution markets are those opportunities to redistribute used goods from where they’re no longer wanted to where they can once again be useful. Think Craigslist or eBay. Collaborative lifestyles allow people with similar interests to band together and share or exchange those less tangible assets such as time, space, or skills. Shared gardens, bartering skills for goods, or sharing work space are examples of this system. Ultimately, What’s Mine Is Yours speaks to the bigger picture: the negative impact of overconsumption, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a swirling, 100-foot deep mass of trash floating east of Japan and west of Hawaii. Twice the size of Texas, it contains 90 percent plastic such as bottle caps, lighters, shopping bags, shoes, and toothbrushes. By simply sharing, swapping, reusing, and employing other collaborative measures—we can collectively save the world. buy now at amazon.ca

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