Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The New Normal: Rentalism

It's the New Normal. ABC News has begun a series about how American life, society and culture are changing because of the recession and the collapse of the financial system.

ABC's Linsey Davis takes a look at how renting versus buying can make good economical, and environmental, sense.

Video Clip here.

It's one of the first things we learn as kids and now the concept of sharing is all grown up. Some call it rentalism or zipcar capitalism.

If you can be assured of having a car when you need it, then why not share cars?

Car rental is just the beginning. Dwindling credit, pay cuts and job losses are responsible for a shift in how we spend.

The average U.S. person consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago. Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff" project, and soon to be book, talks about how more stuff can become a burden, not a bonus.

More Americans are shying away from ownership and choosing to save money, space and natural resources. Since 2004, Zipcar's membership has grown 100 percent annually.

On Avelle.com, you can rent jewelry and sunglasses. BabyPlays.com is the Netflix version for baby toys. On artrentandlease.com, you can even rent art.

The advantage is you can have different pieces at different times and you don't have to keep the same piece and also, economically, I think it would be less expensive.

Not only less expensive, less taxing on the environment and less of a hassle

We are getting back to realizing that more and more stuff is not really what makes us happy.

Rentalism may be here to stay for a long time. In fact, flexpetz.com shows us the evolution of what you no longer have to own. That company makes it possible to rent man's best friend.