Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and all kinds of people are looking for ways to show their sweetheart or loved ones that they care. We spend copious amounts of money on red and white "stuff" in the name of love. Although they may seem cute, there's nothing sweet about conventional candies, cards or jewelry, which all come with heavy environmental impact. Sharing, the operative term for the emerging trend of collaborative consumption, provides a fun and affordable alternative to the highly-commercialized Valentine's Day we all love to hate. The Sharing Economy suggests that access is more desirable than ownership, and experiences more important than material possessions. After all, it's not the flowers, but the memory of the sweet person who gave them to you that warms your heart years later. Collaborative consumption services can open up a world of unforgettable experiences without being wasteful, and so here are six ideas for planning a shareable Valentine's Day.
Nab The Perfect Gift On Yerdle
Sharing is the new shopping, according to the founders of Yerdle, the newest online swapping community on the block. Yerdle makes it easy for people to post pictures and details about stuff they’re willing to give away, and some of it’s pretty impressive. Spend a few minutes browsing and we’re sure you’ll see something that would make your loved one smile. Best part? It’s all FREE.
Dinner With Friends
We’re told that Valentine’s Day is only for lovebirds, but why should couples have all the fun? If you’re a firm believer in “the more the merrier”, then plan a group dinner with friends or attend a dinner with strangers to make some new ones! Grubwithus is a social dining network that facilitates friendships by bringing awesome people together over delicious food, reports Shareable. It’s perfect for people who are new in town, or those that want to expand their social or culinary horizons. Operating very much like an online dinner party, you simply browse the site for a meal you’d like to attend, and then reserve your seat. Eat With Me and Colunching are two more meal sharing services that make it easy to connect with others over delicious food.
Get Fancy With Borrowed Duds
Planning a hot dinner date? Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get all gussied up in fancy clothes. Trouble is, most of us only get that fancy once or twice a year. Instead of wasting a lot of money on a dress or purse that’s just gonna sit idle for the next 364 days, why not borrow it just for the night? Rent The Runway is a clothes-sharing website designed specifically for those who love high fashion. Browse the website’s selection of current season fashions from nearly 100 designers, then reserve online at about 10 percent of retail cost. Simply return via mail when your event is over! Bag Borrow or Steal does the same thing but for accessories like jewelry and handbags.
Paint The Town Red
Who says you have to go to Paris for a romantic getaway? Vayable, Gidsy, Guidehop and Sidetour are peer-to-peer experience marketplaces. That means locals who know their towns inside and out offer their services as tour guides on some truly unexpected adventures. Explore hidden gem restaurants, get a lesson in chocolate making, or cruise the bay in a sailboat. You’ll have lasting memories and supporting a local entrepreneur at the same time!
Travel In Style
Really want to go all out to make your sweetheart feel special? Pick them up in a car that looks like a million bucks! So what if you don’t own a car or spend most of your time on your bike. Peer-to-peer car sharing services like RelayRides and Getaround offer hourly rentals on the car of your dreams. You get all the excitement of being behind the wheel of a BMW or Tesla Roadster without the buyer’s remorse.
Rent A Thrifty Love Nest
Forget the five star hotel. Airbnb is a peer-to-peer marketplace that helps people list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Think an Italian villa or New York City penthouse is out of the question? Think again. Airbnb has all of these and more, for a fraction of the price you’d pay to a major hotel brand. Instead, you can give them money to an enterprising micropreneur in exchange for an unforgettable evening.