Join the local sharing revolution on streetlife.com

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Neighbourhood sharing encouraged by streetlife.com, the local social network, to help people save money and resources, and build stronger communities.

Neighbours connect and share on streetlife.com - the local social network

Neighbours connect and share on streetlife.com - the local social network

There’s a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills in every neighbourhood. By sharing we can help one another out, get to know some friendly local faces, and build stronger, better connected communities.

This Sunday, 2nd June, is Global Sharing Day and the fifth annual Big Lunch – two initiatives that aim to inspire communities to come together and share – and streetlife.com is encouraging people to get online and join in.

Borrowing a ladder from a neighbour used to be commonplace, but over time, lifestyles and the way people socialise changed. Busy schedules and less frequent dialogue with neighbours made it more awkward to ask for favours, and a shift towards consumerism encouraged a culture of buying things, some of which might be used only once or twice.

People are starting to think differently about purchases, and considering how consumption affects both their finances and the environment. The focus is shifting from ownership to access, with sharing everything from DVDs, clothes and meals, to cars, spare rooms and jobs, becoming more mainstream.

The many benefits of sharing

The average drill is used for less than 15 minutes in its lifetime, yet many households own one. Sharing resources can save money and space, reduce waste, stretch the lifecycle of products, and enable individuals and groups to access more, without the burden of ownership.

But the benefits of sharing aren’t just financial and environmental; a Cooperatives UK report found that eight out of ten people say that sharing makes them happier, while seven out of ten would share if they knew how.

The internet has made it easier to pool assets, but lending and borrowing remains easiest with those who live nearby. streetlife.com, the local social network, provides a free and simple way to connect with local people, and to offer, request and exchange items.

And it’s not just about possessions, as Nina Whittaker, head of communities at streetlife.com explains: “There’s a wealth of knowledge, experience and skills in every neighbourhood. By sharing we can help one another out, get to know some friendly local faces, and build stronger, better connected communities.”

How are neighbours using streetlife.com to share?

  • Lending and borrowing things that are rarely used, like hedge trimmers, ladders and sewing machines.
  • Offering time and skills, for example help with a foreign language or IT advice.
  • Getting more variety by swapping things like plant cuttings or home-grown produce.
  • Having a clear-out and giving second hand goods to community groups and local charities.
  • Sharing hobbies – lending camping equipment or fishing gear to neighbours enables them to try something new without spending money upfront.
  • Pooling recommendations for trusted tradesmen, friendly freelancers, and favourite local haunts.
  • Sharing land – green-fingered neighbours are often keen to help out in gardens or allotments owned by people with limited time, skills or mobility.
  • Organising street parties and neighbourhood meetups to share food, music, games and stories.
  • Exchanging local knowledge, news and events, to make the most of where they live.

Find out more and join the local sharing revolution at http://www.streetlife.com.

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About streetlife.com

streetlife.com, the local social network, has a simple aim: to help people across Britain make the most of where they live by connecting and sharing with their neighbours. The website provides a free and easy place for residents, community groups, local government representatives and businesses to share practical information, advice, skills and resources.

The streetlife.com team believes that better connected neighbours build stronger communities, and that digital media has a key role to play in bringing together people with busy routines or reduced mobility, to discuss and improve the local issues they care about.

Main uses of the site include:

  • discussing nearby news, crime, planning proposals and public services
  • finding locals with common interests, organising and attending social groups and events
  • sharing skills and belonging with neighbours, from hedge-trimmers to spreadsheet skills
  • recommending and discovering local businesses and tradespeople
  • promoting, campaigning and volunteering for community projects and local causes

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Nina Whittaker
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