As Rachel Botsman wittily notes in her TED Talk “The Case for Collaborative Consumption” sharing make a lot of sense since it is really the hole you want, not the drill. You can share just about anything (bath water, clothing, accessories, a lawnmower, a snowblower, a sewing machine, a trailer) informally, or you can make up a formal agreement like this sample agreement to share backyards. That’s one of many tips from The Sharing Solution website, based on the book of the same name available here at the OPL. Botsman’s book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption is available here.
Credit Unions and other Co-ops
Credit unions are financial cooperatives owned and controlled by members rather than bankers. As indicated here, they are “operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members” and in many cases they “provide services intended to support community development or sustainable international development on a local level.” Even when they are not strictly sharing, co-ops are designed to pool resources for the common good and support local economies.
Click on the map below for non-comprehensive, zoomable map of Ottawa-area credit unions, courtesy of yellowpages.ca.
In addition to credit unions the Ottawa-based Canadian Co-Operative Association website provides a good overview of co-ops in all their variety. Its list (PDF) of Ontario co-ops includes many province-and-nation wide organizations as well as the Ottawa-based La Siembra Co-operative, the first registered importers of Fairtrade Certified cocoa and sugar in North America. Other locally-based organizations include the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC), the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative the Ottawa Valley Food Co-operative and the recently-opened West End Well food co-op. There are may co-operative daycares and preschools on this list from the Parent Resource Centre.
As indicated here, makers of the ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft tout themselves as part of a sharing economy, but with no real justification. These companies make huge profits by shifting risk from corporations to workers and customers, weakening labour protections, and driving down wages. Much of this activity runs counter to a sustainable community ethos.
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