What's Mine Is Yours : How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live, Paperback Book

What's Mine Is Yours : How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In the 20th century humanity consumed products faster than ever, but this way of living is no longer sustainable.

This new and important book shows how technological advances are driving forms of `collaborative consumption' which will change forever the ways in which we interact both with businesses and with each other.The average lawn mower is used for four hours a year.

The average power drill is used for only twenty minutes in its entire lifespan.

The average car is unused for 22 hours a day, and even when it is being used there are normally three empty seats.

Surely there must be a way to get the benefit out of things like mowers, drills and even cars, without having to carry the huge up-front costs of ownership?There is indeed.

Collaborative consumption is not just a buzzword, it is a new win-win way of life.

This insightful and thought-provoking new book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers is an important and fast-moving survey of the dramatic changes we are seeing in the way we consume products.Many of us are familiar with freecycle, eBay, couchsurfing and Zipcar.

But these are just the beginning of a new phenomenon.

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have interviewed business leaders and opinion formers around the world to draw together the many strands of Collaborative Consumption into a coherent and challenging argument to show that the way we did business and consumerism in the 20th century is not the way we will do it in the 21st century.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Consumerism
  • ISBN: 9780007395910

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Interesting book, but probably only worth skimming. The first few chapters had some interesting data about the affects of blind consumption and explaining how we got here. I really liked those chapters. Then it evolved into an overly excited commentary about how the millennial will change the world because the "digital native" gets things that the rest of us can't. Then it went into a boring, repetitive, overly-flowery listing of all sorts of products and services that are changing the world. However, if you look up many of those products and services, they don't seem to be very successful. Great ideas though. I scanned through the last 3rd, and it looks like a continuing of that approach, but highlighting some products and services that are already well known.Overall, worth a scan at the library.

Review by

This is an extremely important book that I urge you to read.It’s clear to most of us that the way we live in the West is unsustainable. The amount we consume in order to satisfy our urge to own, is outstripping the Earth’s resources at an alarming rate. The extent of this excess is detailed in the opening chapters with much of the focus on the excesses of the people of the USA, but sadly we in the UK and the rest of the developed world appear intent on catching up. We’ve been trained to desire possessions and to crave the new and the latest versions. It’s the basis of our economic model and what we call success, but it’s simply unsustainable. For example the size of the average US home has more than doubled in the last 50 years whilst family size has reduced yet since the first self-storage facility opened in 1964 the US personal storage business has grown to a $22 billion business with over 53,000 facilities and a total of 2.35 billion square feet of storage. The book is littered with startling examples:- For example the average mobile phone has a life of 18 months; 30 million phones are sold in the UK annually to a population of 60 million and over 11 billion phones have been built for a world population of 6 billion. Elsewhere in the home it’s disconcerting to find that a typical domestic electric drill is used for between 6 and 13 minutes during its entire lifetime – most people want the hole, not the drill.Something has to change and the rest of the book outlines what could and what is happening to foster collaboration and sharing ranging from models similar to the traditional ‘book library’ through more radical approaches such as ‘couch surfing’ where people eschew hotels and instead sleep on the couches of locals. There are many examples of inadvertent ‘green processes’ such as ebay, where items are given a new life instead of being discarded and web sites such as Zilok, Bartervard, Zopa, Freecycle, u-exchange, SWAP etc.The final section looks at the impact of collaborative use, for example where design for longevity and sustainability become increasingly important and manufacturers become ‘lifecycle providers’ rather than product producers.In what for many is a depressing time where our actions seem woefully disconnected from the reality of their consequences, this book offers hope. It doesn’t have all the answers, but read it and maybe you can become part of them. Highly recommended.