Joint Use: Sharing Economy
Digitization continues to transform societies and economies by accelerating access to information. Internet, social media, and digital applications are positioned at the center of our lives and diversify our consumption habits. Technological innovations that make our lives easier increase consumption by facilitating access to products. Increasing consumption brings discussions about the efficient use of scarce resources with it.
The empowered digital world enables the shared use of assets and services
The empowered digital world offers opportunities that enable the shared use of assets and services. The economic model for making an income by temporarily making somebody use the idle resources has led to the emergence of the sharing economy. The sharing economy is when the owner does not use a product or service that s/he does not need to use often, but allows other users to use it for a fee or free of charge. The sharing economy, which began in the 2000s and has made its impact felt globally since 2010, is also expressed by various names. Some of these are platform economy, collaborative economy, economy of crowds, and solidarity economy.
Sharing economy practices can contribute to environmental problems
The sharing economy has led to the appearance of many practitioners who mediate the common use of products and services in many areas such as office, travel, knowledge, skills, food, ideas, etc. Today, young individuals who are prone to technology make up the most important portion of stakeholders of the sharing economy, as the providers and receivers of this service perform their processes via digital platforms. Sharing economy practices that can be easily accessed from virtual platforms can contribute to the solution of environmental problems. In this sense, it is of utmost importance to develop and support sharing economy practices that contribute to sustainability by reducing excess production and consumption and preventing waste.
The sharing economy has both advantages and disadvantages.
Some of the advantages of the sharing economy can be listed as the efficient use of idle resources, prevention of waste, reduction of carbon footprint, contribution to sustainability, reaching the needs of those in need free of charge or at affordable prices, increasing interaction with different people/cultures, saving time, and providing additional income opportunities. Some of the disadvantages of the sharing economy can be listed as the damage to various professions, the negative impact on companies operating in the shared product sector, the problem of trust in platforms without legal basis, various security problems, the dominance of trade rather than the culture of cooperation, and the increase in energy needs of digital channels.
Establishing effective sharing mechanisms is a significant issue
Global environmental problems and disruptions in the supply chain have made scarce resources even more valuable. In a world where access to resources is getting harder day by day, while tons of quality food is thrown away, millions of people experience food shortages. It is estimated that there are approximately 150 million people homeless around the world, even though there are 900 million unused homes. Considering all the data alike, we see that it is important to highlight the advantageous aspects of the sharing economy for the solution of such problems and to find constructive solutions to its advantages, and to seek effective methods of use. The idea is that it will be significant to reduce environmental problems by establishing sharing mechanisms and to deliver resources to those in need by using them efficiently, apart from generating additional income from the sharing economy.