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Table of Contents

Table of Contents: Your Sharing Companion 1

Part I: Sharing Basics

1

Getting Started 7
What Are Your Sharing Goals? 9
What Can Be Shared? 17
The Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing 28

2

Finding Sharing Partners 31
Who Can I Share With? 32
Sharing With Your Neighbors 34
Sharing With Your Coworkers 42
Finding Sharers Online 43
Join Established Sharing Programs 44

3

20 Questions to Ask When You Share 45

1. Why Are We Sharing? 49
2. What Are We Sharing? 50
3. Whom Are We Sharing With? 51
4. How Many People Are We Sharing With? 52
5. How Will the Timing of Our Arrangement Work? 53
6. Who Owns the Shared Items? 54
7. Should We Form a Separate Legal Entity? 56
8. What Should We Call Ourselves? 59
9. What Do We Get to Do? 60
10. How Will We Make Decisions? 61
11. What Responsibilities Will Each of Us Have? 61
12. What Are the Rules for Using Our Shared Property or Meeting Our Shared Responsibilities? 63
13. How Will We Handle Administrative Matters Like Scheduling, Communication, and Record Keeping? 64
14. How Will We Divide Expenses and Manage Money? 67
15. How Will We Manage Risk and Liability? 71
16. Are There Legal Requirements We Need to Follow? 74
17. How Will We Resolve Conflicts or Disputes? 75
18. How Will We Bring New People Into the Group? 75
19. How Can a Member Leave the Group? 77
20. How Do We End the Sharing Arrangement? 79

4

Thank You For Sharing: Communicating, Making Decisions, and Resolving Conflict 85
Communication Skills for Sharing 86
Making Decisions as a Group 97
Handling Disputes 106

5

Putting Your Arrangement in Writing 117
The Benefits of a Written Agreement 118
Documents Your Group Might Need 120
Preparing Your Documents 123
Getting Legal Assistance 131

Part II: Sharing Solutions

6

Sharing Housing 135
Identify Your Housing Needs 138
Legal Issues to Consider When Sharing a Home 139
Solution 1: The Co-Owned House 148
Solution 2: The Retrofit House 155
Solution 3: The Group Rental House 161
Solution 4: The Shared Vacation Home 167
Solution 5: Cohousing 173
Solution 6: Casual Cohousing 179
The Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Shared Housing 187

7

Sharing Household Goods, Purchases, Tasks, and Space 189
Solution 1: Share Household Items 190
Solution 2: Purchase Supplies and Goods Together 207
Solution 3: Share Services and Utilities 212
Solution 4: Form a Work Group for Home Projects 216
Solution 5: Share a Yard 226
The Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing Household Goods, Purchases, Tasks and Space 231

8

Sharing Food 233
Solution 1: Share Meals 238
Solution 2: Buy Food Together 246
Solution 3: Community Fruit Tree Harvests 249
Solution 4: Shared and Community Gardens 256
Solution 5: Community-Supported Agriculture 263
The Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing Food 268

9

Sharing Care for Children, Family, and Pets 271
Issues to Consider When Sharing Care 273
Solution 1: Form a Community Babysitting Cooperative 276
Solution 2: Join a Cooperative Nursery or School 284
Solution 3: Share an In-Home Nanny 287
Solution 4: Start a Carpool 293
Solution 5: Share an In-Home Care Provider With Another Elder or Adult With Disabilities 298
Solution 6: Share Caregiving Responsibilities With Another Family 303
Solution 7: Share Dog Walking 306
Solution 8: Share Pet Care 308
Your Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing Family Care 310

10

Sharing Transportation 313
Solution 1: Share a Car With One or Two People 318
Solution 2: Start a Small Carsharing Club or Program 333
Solution 3: Start a Carpool 343
Solution 4: Share a Ride 351
Solution 5: Share a Bicycle 355
Your Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing Transportation 358

11

Sharing at Work 361
Solution 1: Share Work Space 363
Solution 2: Share Business-Related Equipment and Purchases 376
Solution 3: Sharing Employees 380
Solution 4: Share a Job 386
Solution 5: Sharing Things With Coworkers 390
Solution 6: Sharing Ownership With Employees 396
Your Triple Bottom Line: The Benefits of Sharing at Work 400

Appendixes

A

Resources 403
Resources on Sustainable Communities and Living Green 405
Community Building Resources 407
Legal Resources from Nolo 407
Resources on Communication, Decision Making, and
Conflict Resolution 407
Resources on Shared Housing 409
Resources on Sharing Household Goods, Purchases, Tasks, and Space 412
Resources on Sharing Food 413
Resources on Sharing Care 417
Transportation Resources 417
Resources on Work and Sharing 418

B

Forms 421
Money and Property Worksheet
Time and Efficiency Worksheet
Environmental Worksheet
Community Building Worksheet
Getting Help Worksheet
What Could I Share?
Neighbor Questionnaire
Checklist for Discussing the 20 Questions
Communication Checklist
Worksheet: Rate Your Housing Priorities
Goods to Lend and Borrow
Home Improvement Group: Tools and Skills Assessment
Diet Preferences for Mealsharing
Fruit Harvest Agreement
Information Sheet for Children’s Carpool
Worksheet: Annual Car Expenses
Information Sheet for Carpool Members
Worksheet: Work Expenses to Consider Sharing

Index