From Terri Bennett, Founder of DoYourPart.com:

There’s a new movement afoot that could create a wholesale change in how we, as consumers, get what we want.  Here’s what the idea boils down to: creating online frameworks that allow people to share, rent, and swap what they already own directly to other consumers. The possibilities of these person-to-person transactions are endless.  Here are my Top 7 Ways to Swap, Share, and Rent to save money and dramatically reduce waste.

List, photos, and captions courtesy of DoYourPart.

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  • 1. Rent Out Your Home

    If there's a big event coming to your city, you might want to rent out your apartment or house. Or, you may have a vacation house that is vacant for much of the year. <a href="http://www.airbnb.com/" target="_hplink">AirBnB.com</a> is an easy to use hub for linking home owners with travelers who want anything from a one night getaway in New York City to a month long stay in a mountain cabin.

  • 2. Rent Out Your Car

    <a href="http://www.relayrides.com/" target="_hplink">RelayRides.com</a> hooks up drivers in need with car owners. You can see what's available where you are and check out the price per hour, day, and week. These are smaller examples of bigger success stories such as the ZipCar car sharing service, which allows thousands of drivers to access cars at any time across the country.

  • 3. Swap Your Stuff

    Think of all the stuff in your house you no longer use - everything from video games to designer purses. <a href="http://www.swap.com/" target="_hplink">Swap.com</a> is one place to go to swap what you don't want for something you do. Your options are absolutely endless.

  • 4. Trade Children's Clothes

    Anyone with children knows just how quickly kids outgrow clothes. <a href="http://www.thredup.com/" target="_hplink">ThredUp.com</a> lets you earn credits for gently used clothing you no longer need. Then, use those credits to shop for the children's clothing you do want.


  • 5. Keep It In The Neighborhood

    <a href="http://www.sharesomesugar.com/" target="_hplink">ShareSomeSugar.com</a> comes in. This website helps people in your own neighborhood share everything from GPS devices to power tools.

  • 6. Swap And Share Land And Tools

    One new online start-up, <a href="http://www.y2g.org/" target="_hplink">Yards to Gardens</a>, allows gardeners and people with available land to connect and begin growing foods and flowers. There's also a way to share gardening tools and swap seeds.

  • 7. Share Office Space

    With many people working in the virtual world these days, there is a new need for temporary office space or shared office spaces. That's where <a href="http://www.opendesks.com/" target="_hplink">OpenDesks.com</a> comes in. You can locate open offices or desks wherever you need them and for whatever length of time. So if you want to close up shop at your neighborhood coffee house, this is the place to check out.

 Making more use of what we have, sharing our resources, and committing to less trash is an important way to <em>Do Your Part</em>. Utilizing technology to help make it happen also makes it easier than ever before.



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About the Author:

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist and author, and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to terri@doyourpart.com and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter. Terri's new book "Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living" is now available at DoYourPart.com.

© 2011 Terri Bennett Enterprises, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.