Blog 5 / Uncategorized

Are Added Values for the Environment and Community Really Worth a Change in Consumption?

All of the speakers from “The Rise of the Sharing Economy” added great value to the program because of the speakers’ diversity in viewpoints and backgrounds. This also brought controversy and discussion, which allowed listeners to form personal opinions on matters because we were able to hear many different perspectives on the same topic. That being said, I connected the most with April Renning while listening because of her professional background and confidence while speaking.

Likewise, I found myself agreeing strongly with Rennings’s arguments about collaborative consumption and its benefits. She was asked to respond to the argument that the sharing economy is eroding the nature of our private lives and our need for personal possessions and identity through our belongings. Before even hearing her response, I thought this argument was weak because the sharing economy does not require everyone’s participation and is not forcing anyone to be a part of this industry. Sure enough, Renning posed this same rebuttal and added that the sharing economy creates more value for society than it gets credit for. For example, these companies make goods and services accessible to those who are looking for an alternative way to spend and save, thus allowing for an increase in many individuals’ disposable income. Furthermore, this sharing is adding value on a community, social, and environmental level.

Of course, this value does not show up in any financial documents, though, which leads many people to believe the value doesn’t exist because it isn’t a monetary addition. This discrepancy is similar to other organizations that focus on measurements of success other than monetary measures, and thus pose a question about valuing companies that do not have a high net income, but add value to society, community, and the environment. The question will continue to be asked because people will always be skeptical of change.


5 thoughts on “Are Added Values for the Environment and Community Really Worth a Change in Consumption?

  1. The issue of the benefits of a Sharing Economy not showing up on financial statements is crucial. If companies that are involved in the consumer economy cannot see how the Sharing Economy can benefit them, they will not support the Sharing Economy. I question however if people are really using the Sharing Economy to create more disposable income for themselves, and then using the disposable income. I feel like a lot of the Sharing Economy is made of people who cannot normally afford things, so they are using the Sharing Economy to borrow these things instead.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. There are many things that are very valuable, but do not seem to have a monetary price attached to that value. It is disappointing to see that many of these things have a tendency to be overlooked.

  3. I had the same reaction as you and April towards the argument about the sharing economy reducing the importance of creating personal identities through ownership. Right now the sharing economy seems to be more of just an option for low-income individuals who cannot afford to purchase their own items. Those individuals who still value consumption and ownership clearly still have the freedom to make their own purchases if they want to.

  4. It’s cool when you have that moment of anticipating what someone will say!

    The water fountain in Taylor, first floor, now has a counter that says how many plastic bottles have been saved by filling up one’s bottle there.

    Is it possible to measure the savings you describe above? And once we know that, can we create incentives to accelerate those gains?

  5. Pingback: Blog Council Report: Build your Blogging Skills | B-Ethics

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