Sharing: both economically sparing and environmentally caring
Has it ever occurred to you that you could rent a dog for the weekend or, instead of getting a takeaway, go online and source some leftovers from somebody in your neighbourhood who just happened to make too much chicken masala?
It seems a lot of people in Denmark already do this – via peer-to-peer sharing sites trustedhousesitter.com and dinnersurfers.com respectively – as an increasing number of clubs and businesses are created for sharing.
Sharing’s in our DNA
“I think that everybody likes to share. It is in our nature,” Kasper Honoré, the CEO and co-founder of LejDet – a company that facilitates rentals of anything from a guitar tuner to a luxury yacht – told the Weekly Post.
And sharing, contends Honoré, is good for the enivironment, both on a global and local scale.
“We just need to be reminded why sharing is important, not only for the sake of our own personal revenue, but also because of the major environmental issues we address while sharing,” he explained.
“On top of that, we are making relationships within communities a lot better.”
Tradition and innovation
With a long tradition of combining community and business, and its increased focus on sustainability, Denmark has the potential to become a world leader in sharing.
After all, some of Denmark’s largest businesses, such as the dairy producer Arla or Coop Supermarked, are co-operatives, as are many of the country’s apartment blocks.
And in recent years, innovative startup companies have cottoned on to the trend in a bid to generate profits from underused assets.
They will certainly be buoyed by the Environment Ministry’s recent announcement that 40 million kroner is available to companies that come up with “more environmentally-friendly solutions and create new green jobs”.
For fun and the environment
One of the oldest Danish startups that specialises in sharing is GoMore. The company encourages people to drive together, whether it is to work or on holidays, to save money and the environment and to connect more while travelling together.
Similarly, MinbilDinbil is another example of a peer-to-peer car rental company. The firm was founded by two Italians who relocated to Denmark.
“Our service is particularly useful for anyone who moves to Denmark without a car and doesn’t want to buy one because it’s too expensive. It is also a great way to meet the locals and become part of the community,” Milad Avaz, the company’s marketing manager, explained to the Weekly Post.
“Once we had a pregnant woman who thought she was going to give birth and needed a car to get to the hospital. She hired one from our website,” he recalled.
“When she got there, she realised it was just a false alarm. The car owner was touched by her story and let her use his car for the next few days just in case she needed it again.”
Shipping can also be very expensive – especially if you want to send an item that has an odd shape and does not fit the regular packaging. That is why a trio of Danish entrepreneurs – Daniel Mariussen, Rune Pedersen and Mads Emil Dalsgaard – decided to start their peer-to-peer shipping company, Bringrs.
“We’ve had people sending all sorts of things with Bringrs: bicycles, furniture, kitchen utensils, you name it. One of the craziest things was probably a pair of guinea pigs,” Dalsgaard told the Weekly Post.
Right now, the company is talking about potential co-operations with messenger companies and small shipping companies that might be interested in using their booking system.
According to Dalsgaard, most shipping trucks are only 50 percent full. So, if they get more items to transport from Bringrs, they can earn more and reduce their CO2 emissions at the same time.
Living well for less
Although renting a car or a lawnmower from someone else was possible even before the internet, online services have made sharing assets cheaper and easier. These days, anyone can become a retailer and earn money on things that would otherwise just collect dust.
Danish online companies such as LejDet or MinbilDinbil match up owners and renters, and social networks like Facebook provide a way to check people’s identity and build trust.
“The experience of sharing with peers has become a new way to live well for less whilst enriching it with a personal human connection,” Linda Tan, a consumer insights director at ZenithOptimedia, told the Economic Times in India.
“The tendency to prefer access over ownership … becomes a key component of self-expression for consumers’ identities.”
LejDet.dk – everything
Minbildinbil.dk – cars
Bringrs.dk – shipping
GoMore.dk – carpooling
Dinnersurfers.dk – leftovers
Resecond.dk – clothes
Kbhff.dk – organic food
Trustedhousesitters.com – pets