We’re all seeing changes happening around us, and not all of them are positive. Because of COVID-19, money is tight, businesses are stretched, and people are feeling isolated and alone. While our healthcare and support workers are doing the best they can, the reality is, 2020 is proving a tough year.

Now for some positivity. At RentItems, we believe in the power of the sharing economy – in access over ownership. That means renting rather than buying what we need, as well as making use of the things we own already, rather than leaving them lying idle. This simple idea has more benefits than you might think, especially in times of crisis like this. 

Here are five ways the sharing economy can help during the COVID-19 crisis: 


1. The sharing economy fosters local community at a time when it’s needed most

The concept of community isn’t new, but what’s exciting and inspiring about the sharing economy is that it uses technology to revive those local connections. In the ‘old days’ we all knew our neighbors and wouldn’t think twice about borrowing, buying or renting something from someone who lived nearby rather than a big company. But in the modern world, these connections have dwindled. Thankfully, the sharing economy and platforms like RentItems allow people to connect locally – something that’s really important in times of crisis like this when some people are feeling isolated in quarantine, or need help to access goods or services.


2. The sharing economy helps people to access what they need for less in a time of financial uncertainty and recession

In times of recession, everyone looks for lower prices, bargains, and ways to access things they need for less. The beauty of the sharing and rental economy is that instead of paying full price to purchase an item you might not need to use that much, you can choose to rent it instead. Sites like RentItems let you source things like gardening machinery, home improvement tools, gym equipment and similar big-ticket items, but without the outlay of purchasing. It’s a savvy way to keep an eye on your monthly budget at a time when we all need to be cautious about what we’re spending. 


3. The sharing economy helps people to make money out of the things they already own to supplement their income

The COVID-19 crisis is already having a significant effect on the economy, both in the US and around the world. Jobs are uncertain, incomes stretched – and many people are wondering how they can boost their bank accounts in untraditional ways. The sharing economy allows individuals and small businesses to make some extra cash when it’s needed most. For individuals, this can mean listing the items they’ve already invested money in that are lying unused in their garage or home, and generating income from them – like baby equipment, sports items or even furniture that could be used for an event. For businesses, this means renting out unused assets (printers, copiers, tables, chairs, etc) to other companies or individuals and making revenue, especially while mandated capacity restrictions or closures are in place.


4. The sharing economy gives people a project to focus on during the difficult lockdown isolation

It’s been a long year – we’re all agreed on that. And not being to socialize in the normal way, or being stuck at home in quarantine, has meant many of us are looking around for ways to occupy our time – and make sure we have a distraction from the news channels. Having a sense of purpose is essential, especially at a time like this. It’s good for our mental health, which has a knock-on effect on our physical wellbeing. Getting involved in the sharing economy can benefit from giving people a potentially money-making or money-saving project to enjoy, while also providing a way to meet people locally. It’s a great way to boost spirits and income! 


5. The sharing economy helps us all make small changes towards a better, more sustainable future when the new ‘normal’ feels uncertain

We’ve all seen the new stories about how emissions and pollution have dropped during lockdown: we’re using our cars less and the result is that in some places, fresh air and even wildlife is ‘reclaiming’ the cities. What this has shown is that small changes can have a big impact in a short period of time – it’s inspiring stuff. If you’re worried about the future, another way to make a small change in your life for the good of the planet is to be part of the sharing economy. Accessing items that are lying unused means new ones don’t need to be produced.


We all have too much stuff, and the sharing economy gives us a chance to live more simply and do our bit for the planet. Click To Tweet