Some life lessons learned in kindergarten stick: don't eat glue, don't run with scissors, friends don't hit one another. For some of us, the importance of sharing was a hard one to learn — what kid wants to give away half of their cookie? Fortunately, we've warmed up to sharing, and learned to harness the power of lending, borrowing, giving, and renting to care for the environment. We've collected some of the greenest of what the sharing economy has to offer — from rental chickens to leftover Chinese food, here's a small sampling of ways you can depend on the kindness of strangers to reduce your consumption and waste:
1. To eat: Whether you have too much or too little, when it comes to sharing food, you have options. If you're not afraid to get your hands dirty, start or join a community garden. If you have lots of leftovers or made too much for dinner, services like Eat With Me and LeftoverSwap let you share your bounty with others, instead of tossing it in the trash.
2. To farm: Interested in learning more about what urban homesteading has to offer your pantry? Give it a test run. A surprising number of groups and individuals throughout the nation rent out egg-laying chickens along with coops, bedding, and feed, at surprisingly affordable prices. Many of these groups hope to help decrease the number of abandoned chickens flooding animal shelters, which some attribute to the ever-increasing popularity of urban farming. If it doesn't work out, simply send the rented chickens back, guilt-free. Do a quick search for chicken rentals in your state, and get farming.