Can we share our way to a better economy?

There are a million ways to share: Co-op living can make rent cheaper. Car sharing can make a trip home affordable. There’s even a way to share your way beyond student loans. Take it from Eric Meltzer, who learned enough Mandarin -- in five months, with no formal teacher -- to pass his freshman semester at a university in Beijing. His secret (beyond hard work) is to find alternatives, like bartering for a tutor through Skillshare, and prove you don’t need "permission to learn something." Meltzer’s essay is just one essay in the illuminating book Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis. Share or Die is put out by our friends at Shareable, the online magazine which is out to prove that sharing is fun, green, and good for the economy. This book shows that sharing isn’t just good for the economy -- it’s vital. With millions of people hurting right now, solutions based in sharing are the quickest tools available to rebuild from the ground up. Renting a room (or a couch) through Airbnb, for example, could help raise the money to cover rent, or to start a business. Through the community-supported agriculture model, local farmers can cater to low-income communities, like Harlem-based Corbin Hill Farm does. We call these "American Dream 2.0" solutions. They make it possible for people to start meeting their needs together, as communities, instead of through the traditional middleman of multi-national corporations. There are a dozen more inspiring examples in Share or Die, and thousands more at Shareable. You can get even share in the book release: enter the Share or Die Storytelling contest. Win up to $1,000 to use at the sharing service of your choice (Relay Rides to the beach, anyone?) or to donate to the nonprofit organization of your choice. It’s pretty cool — just write, record, video, or otherwise present the story of a time when you shared, and how it worked out. Get more info and enter the contest with Shareable.

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