By James Bradfield Moody
It’s funny the way you find yourself saying to your kids the things that your parents said to you.
My parents used to say ‘sharing is caring’ whenever they wanted me to give something to my sister. The trouble was that most of the time, it felt more like forced giving than sharing, to my five year old self.
But sharing is very good for us. Not only is giving scientifically proven to make us happier, but it builds deeper links between members of a community. Sharing things with others is also good for the environment and the wallet.
Did you know that The WWF estimates that every kilo of cotton uses approx. 20,000 litres of water? For every kilo of plastic toys, there is roughly 71 kilos in hidden packaging, water, and production waste. And a family in the UK recently saved over ten thousand dollars a year by participating in the ‘Sharing Economy’ engaging in all things sharing – car, food, clothing and household items.
So how can we encourage our children to realise the value of sharing?
When our first child arrived we suddenly seemed to have an entire room filled with baby toys, clothes and books. And as our youngest (and definitely last) grew up, many of these things were no longer needed.
We desperately wanted to find new homes for all of these beautiful clothes and toys, all things our little ones had loved so much. We wanted to find other parents who would enjoy them as much as we had. And while we were able to give some things to other new parents, we found that working out who needed what and getting it to them took a lot of time and effort.
And it was in trying to work out how to make it easy to give to our friends and neighbours, that we had the inspiration for our social venture TuShare.
TuShare is a community where people give away things they no longer need to one another for free. What makes it unique is that we have also built a courier system to get items from one person to another – we can now ship up to 25kg in the same capital city, door-to-door, for only $10 with the receiver paying. After officially launching in December 2013 now, six months later, we are the fastest growing sharing platform in Australia.But the most amazing thing is how TuShare has helped us instill the value of sharing with our boys.