Post-consumerist Social Innovations

Collaborative consumption, or the sharing economy: Collaborative consumption involves using durable goods more efficiently, often through collective use and rental arrangements. The Internet has facilitated these modes of exchange by reducing search costs and readily connecting buyers and sellers, owners and users, for short-term exchanges of cars, household space, tools, and much more.

Community energy and food production: An alternative to procuring energy and food from distant and anonymous producers, community energy and food production stresses the importance of relocalization and frequently features the establishment of collective ownership as a means of ensuring local control of energy and food supplies. Local living economy: Developed in large part by the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), this approach facilitates the development of community-based systems of production and consumption, the strengthening of localized economic relationships, and the promotion of fair exchange.

Mindful consumption: Proponents of mindful consumption strive to make a business case for reducing the purchase and use of consumer products and enabling consumers to achieve lifestyle satisfaction in ways that do not involve material goods.

Peer-to-peer provisioning: P2P provisioning is an extension of Internet-based collaborative networks that allow participants to engage directly in transactional activities without the need for a retail intermediary. Vehicle sharing and social lending are two particularly prominent examples.

Prosumption: Prosumption refers to co-creation of economic value through the combined efforts of producers and consumers. The term was coined in 1980 by futurist Alvin Toffler and captures activities ranging from operation of an automatic teller machine (ATM) to community-supported agriculture.

Self and communal cultivation/fabrication: This area of activity denotes production and consumption activities that are carried out on an individual or collective basis. Notable examples include home-based and communal vegetable gardening as well as the personal manufacture of furniture and other artifacts. The advent of 3D printing technology could further this type of provisioning.

Unconsumption: Unconsumption refers to post-acquisition activities pertaining to the recycling, creative reuse, and repurposing of goods as well as to efforts to maximize satisfaction from the use of purchased products.