The circular economy that Taiwan needs (3) "sharing economy"

by mittag jewelry

We introduced the current situation of Taiwan in the previous two articles, "The circular economy that Taiwan needs (1) green product planning" and "The circular economy that Taiwan needs (2) cradle to cradle".  Today, we like to introduce another "sharing economy" that is indispensable to the circular economy.

Simply put, "Sharing economy" replaces traditional buying behavior with "RentNotBuy", and this new lifestyle has already existed in our life. Sure we know Uber, Ubike (shared bicycle), Zipcar (shared car) to Mud Jeans (rental jeans), Canon (printing machine) and Philips (lighting equipment). There are emerging business models that "selling services, not selling products".

Imagine the automotive industry from the 118-year-old light bulb

Spending US$20-50 thousands buying a car and rent an additional car park for another US$1-2 thousands a year, but how much time do you actually drive them? Have you ever thought to lease a car to make it more economical?

Have you ever wondered if there will be a huge change in human life if the sharing economy can be realized in the auto industry? Many people will first think of the benefits of fewer cars on the road or improved air quality, but there are more amazing changes that can subvert our perceptions. For example, have you ever thought that a car can last for 200 years or longer? We believe that if consumers can generally buy services instead of products,  manufacturers will try their best to make cars that have a longer life than human life. You might feel that we are talking nonsense, but we like to share with you one true example, do you know how long a light bulb can last? The answer is 118 years. This light bulb is now in a fire station in California, and is still "working". And when the light bulb was 100 years old in 2001, the local residents also hosted a grand birthday party for it. You must be curious, why people were able to produce super-long-life bulb technology 118 years ago and now can not? In fact, because electricity was not common at the time and light bulbs were a luxury, the producers of light bulbs produce "unbreakable light bulbs" in such a environment, and with the generalization of electricity, the light bulbs gradually become the daily expendables, so the price decline has gradually affected the survival of producers. In a conference of the Light Bulbs Enterprise Alliance held in Geneva in 1924, these companies in order to avoid the people no longer need to buy a light bulb actually joined forces to change the life of the light bulb from 2,500 hours to less than 1,000 hours (light bulbs must be fast broken to promote consumption) This is the famous "Phoebus cartel". This kind of thinking that "only continuous consumption can lead the development of society" has caused us to almost exhaust the resources of the earth since the industrial revolution of the 18th century. Cause permanent damage and pollution of the environment. If you are interested, you can find out about this interesting light bulb by watching the video, and think about the meaning behind this light bulb.

See other benefits of the sharing economy from Ubike (shared bicycles)

"Are you sure to repair it? But repair is more expensive than buying a new one!" If you hear this next time, please remember this brand and add it to your blacklist!

The use of repairs to extend the useful life of goods was a common concept decades ago, only because of the lack of resources. Now, the maintenance is based on the different purposes of extending the life of the product to effectively reduce waste generation and avoid damage to the environment. But do you want to know that repair is actually an important part of the sharing economy? It can even subvert the existing business model and become the most important business revolution in the 21st century!

We recall since the start of the trial operation of Ubike (shared bicycle) by the giant company in Taipei in 2012, the 7-year riding experience we have got were pretty good, which is the service effect achieved by the maintenance. However, Giant is actually a Taiwanese company that sells bicycles. It is reasonable to regard Ubike as a monster competitor. It is not the case, we only see the appearance of this incident. In fact, Giant has long seen the huge business opportunities hidden behind RentNotBuy and the fact that it is the world trend. Ubike's durability is actually commonly experienced by everyone, which can be seen in two directions. First, manufacturers will design and produce bicycles on the premise of "unbreakable bulbs" instead of "dump old, get new ones". Second, manufacturers can increase business models to join maintenance mechanisms, thereby increasing corporate income and providing more job opportunities. And consumers can enjoy high-quality services or goods at a lower price. What about the environment? It can greatly reduce the generation of waste!

Say goodbye to the squandering era, you can influence more

In these economics lectures organized by REnato Lab, we observed that people who participated in the lectures were almost all young people, and they all felt positive about this issue. Therefore, we very much hope that through the influence of each individual, the concept of "circular economy and sustainable environment" can be shared with more people. We sincere hope that you can share these articles with your friends and relatives so that we can influence more people together by doing a little more.

 

"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want” 
-Anna Lappe.
(Anna Lappe is a food system expert, bestselling author, educator who advocates sustainable food development.)

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