How to save resources and make money
You know what is our biggest challenge? No, not the greedy bankers. Not even environmental pollution. It is the low level of use of our resources. Full stop. We don't have to go much back to the history when this was different. In the country side, where vast majority of people use to live, it was common sense to lend and borrow whatever was needed. This was the habit simply because it made sense in the context of scarce resources. And things got fixed and reused. Still remember well how my late farther-in-law hated to buy anything new to replace the old one, simply because he wanted to extend its life to maximum. Presumably many of us share these sort of memories.
A normal person in the Western hemisphere consumes around 25 tonnes material per year. We should get it down to 8 eight tonnes to approach any kind of sustainable lifestyle. The current trend shows the contrary: if it continues up to 2050, we would consume three times more as we do know. Clearly a no-go.
Actually, a lot of good things are happening around this theme. Some of it you can see here in Silicon Valley region. Take Airbnb: company that links people looking for a place to stay with local people who can offer a room, flat or house to stay. With intelligent software, it enables the Seeker to learn about different options by displaying formidable amount of information, while the Offerer has a chance by chatting with potential client to check via well embedded interactive means what is the spirit of the candidate. Eventually, the visitor gets thus a much more authentic experience about the city, the host gets some extra use and money for her space. We all know how boring and tiresome hotels can be and feel. Instead you stay in a real house, with the price that is very reasonable. So everybody is happy.
The story behind the company is nice: it all started some years back in San Francisco with group of friends who were organizing a seminar and all the hotels were full. So they decided to accommodate the quest to their own flats. This experience served to sparkle the idea of the business. Airbnb now operates in 192 countries, more people joining network all the time. And it is highly profitable business. And saves all kinds of resources.
This is future, I hope. Becoming more smart in what and how we do things. Have a look what could you see out of your windowwhile staying in San Francisco with the price of normal hotel room: