Want to do something good for yourself and the planet? Then you should try sharing more! Sharing is not only fun, but also eco-friendly, budget-friendly, and community-friendly. You can share all kinds of things, like car journeys, books, clothes, toys food, garden produce, household gadgets and tools and even electric cars! And you don’t have to do it alone.
These are just some of the ways you can share more, live better, be happier – and do something that really makes a difference. By sharing as a community, we can reduce our environmental impact, save money, and build stronger social ties. Why not try some of the apps we’ve listed below – DO let us know if you find more as the number of new start-ups entering this arena is growing weekly !
PS, if you don’t have a smartphone, but do have a PC – quite a few of these apps work on an Apple Mac or Windows desktop computer.
Liftshare is a Norwich-based Social Enterprise that is mission-driven rather than profit-driven. Founded by Ali Clabburn, a student at Bristol University who couldn’t afford the journey back to Norfolk, Liftshare has grown over the last 23 years to become the UK’s leading provider of car pooling and shared journeys. Liftshare enables organised car sharing by connecting people travelling in the same direction so they can arrange to travel together and share the costs, whilst reducing congestion and pollution at the same time. Available as an App and also in a desktop PC version.
BlaBlaCar is the world’s leading community-based travel network. Bus or carshare, find the perfect ride from a wide range of destinations and routes at low prices. Originally only available to urbanites in large cities, BlaBlaCar is gradually extending is reach into more rural areas. It is already available in Newcastle with quite a few members, so may be coming to a town near you soon as more of us sign up.
Olio started as a food waste sharing app but has grown to be so much more, and now has over 7 million users worldwide. Similar to Freecycle, Olio is a mobile app for sharing by giving away, getting, borrowing or lending things in your community for free, aiming to reduce household and food waste. It does this by connecting neighbours with spare food or household items to others nearby who wish to pick up those items.
The Swap Shop is just one of many clothes swap apps that are now springing up online. It is the preloved clothing swap, for people who love good style. You submit a photo of the items you want to Swap then wait for approval. All submissions are approved to ensure quality. If your item is accepted you gain 1 SwapShop coin to spend in the store. Membership is monthly or on a Pay As You Go basis so worth a try if you think it might suit you.
Freecycle is a grassroots & entirely non-profit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is FREE. You can also set up your own, smaller personal Friends Circle for gifting and lending of items with just your friends!
With Streetbank you can Give things away – find a grateful neighbour for stuff you no longer need. Share Things – like ladders and drills that go unused most of the time, Share Skills -like DIY, languages and gardening, that neighbours might need help with.
Teviot Electric Car Club provides affordable, easy-to-use, by-the-hour, self-service shared cars. Based in Hawick, the club offers two [pure/battery] electric cars of different sizes which are stationed in Mart Street car park, each with their own fast charge point. Membership is open to all good drivers with at least a year’s experience on a full licence. This is a great model and hopefully, more rural towns will start their own car clubs soon.