One of the primary concepts that has driven the development of CitizenShipper.com is the utilization of currently existing resources in a more effective and efficient way. For example, if you plan to drive to see a family member in another city, why not take a package for someone along with you? You can make some gas money, help the shipper out and take the need for a delivery truck out of the equation. The last element is, in itself, interesting from an environmental perspective. If you take out the need for a specialized delivery truck, there’s an overall reduction in the carbon pullution generated by delivery vehicles.
I was excited to see Rachel Botsman promoting the ‘bigger picture’ behind CitizenShipper – namely the idea of Collaborative Consumption. The basic idea is to tap into the almost unlimited potential of assets that sit idle. Rachel points out the most people own cars that sit idle in their driveways for 23 hours a day! By leveraging the idea of a Peer to Peer community, it becomes possible to match an ‘idle’ resource with someone with an immediate need for that resource. I am, of course, describing an idea that Rachel explains far more eloquently than me at her TEDx talk in Sydney 2010. Enjoy her video!