Generation Share: How the Sharing Economy is Saving the Planet

By Michelle Kay

Here is the link to Benita Matofska’s book about the sharing economy

By Madelyn Postman

The recording is here

My book Generation Share published today for Global Sharing Week captures 200 untold stories evidencing how the Sharing Economy could save and protect the planet and those who live in it.

  • Food sharing app Olio have shared over 2 million portions of surplus food and food sharing apps could divert the 1.3 billion tones of food wasted each year[1], to feed the 8.6 million people in the UK who suffer from food poverty.
  • Car sharing could save the 4.2 million premature deaths per year from the associated air pollution.[2]
  • Endorsed by Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton Pavilion “If we’re serious about living within the means of our life-giving planet, a sharing economy will be absolutely essential. This is a hopeful and inspiring book setting out positive ways forward.”

Generation Share the largest compilation of case studies evidencing the untold story of how the Sharing Economy is helping to save and protect the planet, and those who live in it and could contribute towards combating climate change, has been published to illustrate the global impact of this international phenomenon. The book takes readers on a journey around the globe to meet the everyday activists at the forefront of change. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who has been making headlines around the world epitomises the spirit of the change-makers featured in Generation Share.

New research released to accompany Generation Share evidences the social and environmental impact of the sharing economy for the first time, dispelling myths and demonstrating that the Sharing Economy is far more wide-reaching than Airbnb and Uber. Generation Share has been published to coincide with and celebrate the 5th Global Sharing Week, the largest annual international celebration of sharing and the Sharing Economy taking place between 16th and 21st June.

Over 200 “change-maker” micro-stories, Generation Share has the largest collection of unheard Sharing Economy case studies. From the UK entrepreneur who has started a food sharing revolution, to the Dutch environmentalist whose goods-sharing platform is changing the way we manufacture and consume ; you’ll discover the creators of fashion libraries, green schools and a pet-sitting platform, TrustedHousesitters, helping pets stay safe and cared for at home.

By understanding what the Sharing Economy is we see that Sharing and its impact is now a global phenomenon and could be a major contributor in combating climate change. The research conducted for Generation Share demonstrates that wasted resources such as food, household goods and clothes could be diverted from landfill to those who need them. If we can unleash our collective capacity to share, we could not only protect the planet but we could end world poverty.

Generation Share are the change-makers of our time, the everyday activists who are on the front line creating a food sharing revolution to tackle food waste and poverty; some are micro-entrepreneurs or users of services who are change-makers themselves.


Providing analysis into the current and forecast impacts of the sharing economy some of many key facts available include:

  • Over 1 million people have joined food sharing app Olio and have shared over 2 million portions of food. According to FareShare 650,000,000 meals of good quality food go to waste in the UK each year, more than enough to feed the 8. 6 million people in the UK who suffer from food poverty.
  • Shared cars could save the 4.2 million premature deaths per year from the associated air pollution every year (World Health Organisation)
  • Goods sharing app Peerby demonstrate that by sharing a household item once, we save 55kg of Co2, 700 litres of water, 9kg of waste and 300KwH of electricity.[3]


The Sharing Economy is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources such as property, knowledge, cars, skills, food, jobs, goods and time. The term emerged from the global crisis of 2008-9 and the need to do more with less. Fuelled by technology that for the first time matched people who had spare or idle resources with those that wanted or needed them, the term became associated with new types of ‘peer-to-peer’ or person-to-person online marketplaces like Airbnb and Uber. However, Generation Share brings to life the reality beyond Silicon Valley backed ventures and instead shares the multi-faceted aspects of the sharing economy. In this new economy, three types of value are recognised and counted – economic, social and environmental. These include social mobility, poverty alleviation, environmental improvement, sustainable development, advancement of health, citizenship, happiness, human rights and animal welfare, and many more.

A collaboration between speaker, social innovator and global Sharing Economy expert Benita Matofska and photographer Sophie Sheinwald, Generation Share brings to life the phenomenon causing the most significant shift in society since the Industrial Revolution.

Benita Matofska is an international public speaker, change-maker and world-leading expert on the Sharing Economy. An award-winning social entrepreneur, she created the charity The People Who Share and Global Sharing Week. Through social innovation, Benita helps organisations become change-makers and features regularly in the media worldwide.


Sophie Sheinwald is an award-winning visual storyteller who specialises in photography with purpose. Drawing on her background in fine arts, visual studies and community art, she combines her ability to connect with her passion to help people and businesses create meaningful, mission- driven brands.@sophie_snap


OLIO: a food sharing app that connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so that no good food goes to waste. Sharing surplus food that would otherwise be wasted, with people who need it and sharing responsibility for the planet. Saasha Celestial-One is the 41-year-old American co-founder of Olio and is using it as a platform to start what she calls a ‘food-sharing revolution’.

PEERBY: a good sharing platform that enables everyday items to be shared and challenges manufacturers to design goods for community sharing. Dan Wedderpohl is the 36-year-old founder from Amsterdam and is on a mission to ensure that goods are never designed for one person to own and use them.

LENA FASHION LIBRARY: a store (based in the Netherlands) and an online library, where people can borrow instead of buying clothes. Juultje Dehing is 28 years old and part of the millennial team behind the Lena Library. Fashion libraries could save the more than 5000 gallons of water it takes to manufacture a single T-shirt and a pair of jeans[4] and the over 2.5 billion tonnes of water wasted every year in China due to the fashion industry.[5]

Notes to Editors:

Generation Share: will be published by Policy Press on 17th June 2019 to celebrate Global Sharing Week price £25.00 Copies can be purchased here.

For review copies and all media requests including interviews with Benita Matofska or Sophie Sheinwald, please contact Francesca Eden Email: Mobile: 07870271108 / Kate Hinton email: mobile: 07714 708416

A crowd-funded Kickstarter project, Generation Share was created through the Sharing Economy and by the very values it represents.

The People Who Share is a charity and supporting partner for Generation Share that provides ways to find hidden value and unleash everyone’s sharing potential by helping people discover the environmental, social and economic benefits of the Sharing Economy.

Global Sharing Week, organized by The People Who Share is the largest mass engagement campaign on sharing and the sharing economy reaching over 100 million people worldwide each year. Global Sharing Week 2019 takes place on 16-22 June and will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the sharing economy

Policy Press is an imprint of Bristol University Press and publishes work that seeks to understand social problems and promote social change. Its core aim is to improve the day-to-day lives of people who need it most.

TrustedHousesitters are the sponsors for Generation Share. TrustedHousesitters is the pet care solution keeping pets happy at home while helping people to travel since 2010. Based in the UK, TrustedHousesitters has members in 130+ countries and is the largest pet sitting platform of its kind.

Sharing Economy social benefits report – A 20-page research document compiled for Generation Share setting out the full social impact of the sharing economy can also be sent. The report is a rich source of key facts on the sharing economy including alleviating food poverty through sharing food, the CO2 benefits of car sharing, bike sharing, green education and more. For the stats set out in the media release please find below the sources of information:

Food sharing stats –

Shared cars (World Health Organisation) –

Goods sharing stats: Peerby, 2019 –


“A must read for change makers everywhere who seek lasting, systemic change with multiple benefits. This timely, inspirational read shows through tangible examples how sharing can bring people together, meet basic needs, and reduce waste. Nothing could be more relevant given the mounting social, economic, and environmental crises.” Neal Gorenflo, Co-founder and Executive Director of Shareable and Executive editor, Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons

“If the vicious global pursuit of conspicuous consumption makes you despair, read Benita’s book for some hope.” Mark Williams, Actor

“If we’re serious about living within the means of our life-giving planet, a sharing economy will be absolutely essential. This is a hopeful and inspiring book setting out positive ways forward.” Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion

“A marvellous and inspiring celebration of sharing across the world and across generations, written by one of the most knowledgeable and passionate authorities in the field. The stories gathered by the author are diverse, magical and heart-warming.” Patrick Andrews, social innovation lawyer

“We all need inspiration and this book provides that much-needed shot in the arm to inspire and challenge. Buy it and share!” Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive, FareShare

“An indispensable guide to sharing, not just the facts, stats and intellect that underpin the concept but also the joy, passion and connection that will make it so crucial to our future.” Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer

“If the sharing economy is our future, then this book will take us there. Hope it can be shared and read globally to inspire, delight and push the agenda forward” Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director, Eco-Age

“A glorious and glossy, around-the-world look at the global sharing economy from the viewpoints of a diverse and inspiring group of young change makers. Printed on sustainable paper, a percentage of each copy sold helps fund planting a tree and educating a slum girl in India. It educates, motivates and even agitates individuals and corporations into joining the sharing community in a beautiful way. Buy it. Read it. Love it. Share it.” DJ Paulette

“In a world filled with “stuff” this inspirational book showcases how we can share knowledge, skills and resources for the benefit of all. ” Oliver Heath, architectural designer, TV presenter

“We have a saying in my house: ‘Dream big and anything is possible’. The extraordinary people in this book aren’t just dreaming but doing – against the odds to make their community and the world a better place. Illuminating, humbling and awe-inspiring.” Samantha Simmonds, TV news presenter and journalist

“Sharing is an essential part of social investment; this book helps us understand how.” Christine Gent, director of Fashion Revolution and People Tree, WFTO Fair Trade Expert

[1] FAO, UN, 2018

[2] WHO, 2019

[3] Peerby, 2019

[4]; Forbes – Making Climate Change Fashionable – The Garment Industry Takes on Global Warming.arternship on Fashion and the SDGsde of April.s. dian, Times, Telegraph, Indeopendent to review…drawn to TPWS – background


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