Convenient, cheap, practical and greentech, sharable bikes have become all the rage among students and young professionals in China’s leading cities. Why own a bike when you can use your mobile phone to scan a QR code and unlock a nearby, brand-new bike, ride it for however long you want at incredibly low prices (1 yuan or 14 cents for 30 minutes), park and lock it, and then move on, only to pick up another bike elsewhere later in the day.
Over the last year the issue of food waste has become more and more visible. Food waste costs the average person in the UK £200 every year. We throw away a whopping 19% of food we buy, which adds up to 7 million tonnes per annum according to campaigners Love Food Hate Waste. Globally, one third of all food produced is wasted, 1.3 billion tonnes – that’s enough to feed three billion people, say environmental organisation Feedback. But don’t get overwhelmed, aside from planning your food shopping better, there are some delicious ways to help tackle the issue that anyone can get involved in.
As the Uberization of all things spreads across the globe, what does this look like in developing countries? It turns out that in developing nations, platforms where freelancers can make money—the Ubers, Craigslists, and Postmates of overseas—may just be the next big driver of economic development.
Colorado lawmakers moved to allow online pet-sitting platforms to operate legally in this state on Thursday, despite concerns from kennel operators that doing so could endanger pets or put existing facilities out of business.
The model of being able to work wherever and whenever someone wants extends far beyond popular new economy services such as Uber and Lyft . Because of the newfound ability to reach customers through internet platforms, everyone from graphic designers to plumbers can connect with customers and market their businesses more cheaply and easily than ever before. This is one reason why millennials of all political leanings overwhelmingly support the sharing economy.
In an effort to bring Airbnb under some of the same regulations its competitors in the hotel industry face, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has reached an agreement with the popular home-sharing platform to collect county resort taxes.
Businesses that act as online middlemen are increasingly letting people arrange fees to share or borrow goods or services, including companies such as ride share apps Uber and Lyft, accommodation booking service Airbnb, online peer-to-peer credit marketplace Lending Club and Task Rabbit, which matches “taskers” with people who need help assembling, mounting or moving furniture or with handyman jobs.
The rise of self-employment and soaring office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in metropolitan areas, with a handful of firms renting workspace by the hour, similar to the way Airbnb offers overnight stays. Vrumi, founded in 2015, says it has 5,000 registered users and 120,000 square feet of rentable workspace across the U.K. London-based Spacehop joined the market last year, as did Breather, a four-year-old company that also operates in the U.S. and Canada.
India is key to Uber’s future, especially at a time when the firm is bleeding billions of dollars globally, and growth in the US is tapering. “India is a global priority market for Uber and our second-largest after the US in terms of (the number of) trips,” an Uber spokesperson told Quartz in an email.
While freelance consulting has always been an option for experienced professionals, the new climate of the gig economy is making this kind of choice all the more valid and appealing—both to employees and employers. Mindsets are shifting as the shared economy offers up revolutionary alternatives for workers as well as consumers. Rather than buy a car, use Uber or See Jane Go. Instead of shelling out for a vacation home, try Airbnb. You can even ditch the expensive office real estate and use WeWork.