Welcome to Divide & Savour! We are so glad you’re here, because our mission to share food, recipes, experiences, and perspectives relies on the participation of the greater community.
This page provides information about the ideas behind Divide & Savour. You can visit the About Us page to learn about the D&S blogger-coordinators, Jenn and Natalie. If you are looking for more information about the logistics of the food swap program, please visit the Food Swaps page.
What is Collaborative Consumption?
Collaborative consumption is propelled by the decisions made by individuals about how they choose to acquire goods, services, and experiences. The term itself has an obvious connection to the phrase ‘conspicuous consumption’, which is frequently associated with a common lifestyle that modern society and the environment cannot truly support. A lot of time and words have been spent criticizing this type of consumption. However, people are more likely to respond and change habits when provided with alternatives, not just condescension, which is where collaborative consumption fits in.
Rachel Botsman, an Australian social innovator, is a prominent voice on the topic. She co-authored the book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption with Roo Rogers, and she has spoken about the topic in TED talks. including the lecture, “The currency of the new economy is trust.” Beautiful in its simplicity, isn’t it? Here is a video primer about collaborative consumption prepared by Botsman’s team:
Collaborative consumption automatically makes one consider the greater community, because that is the source of both one’s supply and demand. Examples of collaborative consumption include:
- Free exchange programs such as Freecycle, which enable members of geographically-determined groups to post Wanted or Offer item descriptions on forums to ‘recycle’ goods by giving them away for free.
- Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and RocketHub that let the public fund creative projects while they are being created.
- Community Shared Agriculture programs that strengthen connections between consumers and farmers by guaranteeing a market for the produce.
- Durable goods share and rental programs such as Ecosharing – sharing durable consumer goods in a community (i.e. tools, sports equipment)
- Media swaps such as Swapsity that fight hoarding tendencies while letting readers/viewers/listeners refresh their media libraries and socialize with other fans!
- Hosting programs such as Couchsurfing and AirBnB, where individuals open up their homes and properties to provide unique accommodation for travelers based on trust reputations documented in online communities.
- … and of course: food swaps and social dining experiments!
- An exhaustive list of programs with links is available at the Collaborative Consumption Hub.
So much of these types of sharing seem like common sense when one lives in an established community. However, communities are often more and more virtual and anonymous, distanced from real-time, real-life engagement. Many collaborative consumption programs seek to create communities for sharing, so you don’t need to have known your neighbour for 5 years before you even broach the topic of sharing a lawnmower.
On the Divide & Savour blog, we will write about our on-going experiences with collaborative consumption including participation in programs, engagement with organizations, event attendance, and the ‘consumption’ of culture. These pieces will accompany our recipes and blog posts that focus on our love of sharing food.