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Dare to Share

The sharing economy has allowed us to rent our cars and our homes but borrowing and not buying might also help the planet. Tom Heap finds out how.

The ability to share underused resources like holiday homes and car journeys through online sites has disrupted many sectors of the economy. Many people now travel using 'Airbnb' or 'Uber' and being able to deal directly with the owner of the property or the driver of the car has opened up additional revenue streams for some and cheaper travel options for us all. As many more industries are about to be 'disrupted' by sharing technology Tom Heap discovers how the sharing economy might also be good for the planet.

New apps like Olio and Fat Llama or the Library of Things are designed to allow people to share everything from leftover food to lawnmowers. In a world where space is at a premium and less people will own their own home many of us may no longer want to store so much 'stuff'. The solution is to borrow what we need when we need it and many statistics suggest we have already reached a point of 'peak stuff'. Buying less manufactured goods may be bad for the economy but it could be good news for the planet. Tom finds out just how far the sharing economy can provide for his needs and asks if this shift in how and what we consume can really save energy and emissions.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

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30 minutes

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