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Share, Don’t Scrap

07/06/2011

We can’t manufacture new products for a growing number of consumers forever–not with limited resources. That’s simple math.

We need new systems of consumption, fast. Otherwise we’ll run out of raw materials, and then everyone will have to take their bats/balls and go home. Guard them jealously, too. Because the bat/ball store will be closed indefinitely.

Image credit: Trish Steel

(Sorry about the tortured metaphor.)

Anyway. The good news is that many of these systems are already in place. Take libraries, for instance–a great example of resources being used efficiently. Instead of creating one hundred copies, one book can be read by one hundred people–thereby using 1/100th of the paper, glue, cardboard, oil and other materials needed to produce and distribute books.

Most libraries are government-funded, but that doesn’t mean similar systems can’t turn a profit. Enter bicycle sharing systems, in which you borrow or rent a bicycle for as long as you need it. Some of these services are free, but many of them require a yearly subscription.

Netflix is another example. For $8 a month you can watch a large selection of movies and TV shows that  constantly changes.

The Internet greatly lowers the cost of coordinating such services. Their long-term success depends on us, and our long-term success may depend on them.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Raven Warren permalink
    07/07/2011 9:28 PM

    I’m sharing this on my facebook wall! It’s so simple, and you certainly don’t complicate it. Read, consumers (including me), read! :)

  2. 07/09/2011 12:56 PM

    Thanks doll! I’m glad you liked it. It’s definitely an important issue–I think so, anyway.

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