Sharing economy goes analog in Germany and Switzerland
Apart from new friends and a stronger link to the community, getting to know your neighbors can also mean a useful pool of resources should you ever find yourself lacking. To encourage more interaction and sharing, a Switzerland-based project called Pumpipumpe is offering people free stickers for their mailbox that show which household goods they’re willing to lend to neighbors. For a small charge of 4 Euros, International residents can get in on the action as well.
What started as a way for residents to tell fellow cyclists they had a bike pump they were willing to share, has since expanded to all sorts of items. There are stickers available for items that include a rice cooker, garden bench, tent, saw, and even an inflatable raft. As it says on their website, “In every household there are tools, kitchen appliances, products for leisure and entertainment, etc., which you rarely need and would like to rent a nice fellow once.”
The point of the project is to get people away from their smartphones and more involved with the community – plus the only way to see the stickers if you’re paying attention to your surroundings and willing to interact with other face-to-face. That being said, the team are also working on an interactive map that shows all the neighborhoods involved. Our advice would be to check the map before you head out, then leave your phone at home while you go in search of the item you need.
If you do decide to make use of the stickers, just remember that trust is another important part of the equation. That means trusting that other people will bring back the thing they borrowed, and making sure you aren’t taking of advantage of the system just to get hold of some new toys. Without that, it doesn’t work, and believe it or not, most people will do the right thing if given the chance.
The project is being supported by Swiss institutions and German partner LifeThek, which is why it’s free in Germany and Switzerland – but fear not, international residence can also get some stickers by paying the 4 Euro postage fee.
Images by Pumpipumpe