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The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community Paperback – May 18, 2009
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"This canny, thorough book offeres detailed advice on how to make clear sharing agreements and minimize potential confusion and conflict." (ERNEST CALLENBACH, author of Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging )
"[G]reat practical advice on how to act on our best instincts toward sustaining our society as well as ourselves in the 21st century." (BRUCE SIEVERS, Senior Fellow, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers; Visiting Scholar, Stanford University )
From the neighborhood level to the global, sharing may be the single most important strategy to reduce our environmental impact, gain financial health, promote equity and have fun. The Sharing Solution provides valuable advice and how-to tips for seasoned sharers and new converts. T his book is a tremendously valuable resource for us all, and a must-read for those who want to chart a new path: a more sustainable, more compassionate and more fun one.
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You might think a lot of this is common sense. I mean, things like siting down and coming up with a contract or personal rule list for communal property seems obvious. Yet, how many of us have done things like this? This book basically takes the experience of the authors and writes it out for the rest of us to apply in a practical and easy manner. I can't tell you how many times I remember friends saying, "It won't be an issue! My neighbor/spouse/SO/friend/mother-in-law will understand!" This will hopefully avoid a few of those problems we all encounter, which can potentially ruin relationships.
The book is quite thorough, and covers everything from items, land, large group purchases (tools) to services like sharing childcare/carpooling. It is also pointed out that not only does successful sharing save money, but it's environmentally good in some cases, and most of all, good sharing can save a relationship from getting ruined. I actually am tempted to recommence this book to friends getting married and moving in together, too. I think it's a great asset to anyone who will find themselves in such a situation, or for those who want to start sharing.
Sustainability is something we should all strive for. This is an excellent place to start.
So Nolo Press brings us this. From ridesharing all the way up to communal housing developments, the authors Orsi and Doskow lay out the many and varied issues involved in sharing -- ownership shares, niceties of communication, business partnership issues -- and provide a simple, easy-to-follow approach to dealing with them. Tables and worksheets lay out the variables in a simple-to-follow fashion, and case studies show the principles the authors lay out in action.
The social isolation that once allowed people to start and operate a collaboration on a handshake no longer exists in the United States or most of the Westernized world, if it ever really did to begin with. Nolo Press has always sought to be a substitute for that, making many legal procedures accessible to nonspecialists. This book continues that long tradition, bringing the reader as close to handshake-contract territory as is reasonably possible.
While some of the topics covered (co-living, for instance) are a little too hippy-dippy for me at this stage in my life, but a great deal of it is excellent stuff, including a lot of activities & resources I wouldn't have thought of sharing, or at least not in a formalized way. The formal rules are a great idea because they make the sharing equitable, fair, and prevent hurt feelings or misunderstandings.
While they're less practical to me now that I live in the country (population's not dense enough to make many of the ideas worthwhile), I particularly liked the examples of programs in various cities (Austin's yellow bike program, fruit harvesting clubs, registered hitchhiking programs, etc.). They would be an excellent resource for people in small to medium cities for organizing sharing programs.
Now that I live in a less familiar setting, I do feel a little shy about organizing a sharing club (somehow strangers are easier to approach in a city...), but I think this book is a great resource that will help me get going.
This would be particularly useful for families and people living in single-family neighborhoods in mid-sized cities. I wish I'd read it when I still lived in Austin!
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