By Cat Johnson
Jun 23, 2014
With Summer Solstice right around the corner for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the peak time to be outside, among friends, enjoying all that the season has to offer. And what better way to celebrate than by doing a whole lot of sharing?
We’ve rounded up 15 summertime how-tos from our How To Share resource (which has hundreds of ideas for bringing people together to swap, eat, create, learn and share). Below are our top picks from this sharing treasure trove. Try one, a few, or all of them for your summer of sharing.
1. How to Be An Urban Fruit Forager
Gathering fruit from neighborhood trees is a great way to save money, reduce waste, get fresh food and have fun. Lifetime forager Helena Martin offers tips on where to find fruit trees, what gear to bring, how to approach people, and things to watch out for.
2. The Ultimate Guide to Traveling Without Money
If predictability and consistency are your thing, then this one might not be for you, but if you’re ready to take the plunge and see just how far away from consumer culture you can get while traveling and adventuring, then this one is a must-read. From getting around, to finding food and places to sleep, this guide features tips from experienced no-money travelers.
3. How to Make a Party Box to Share with Neighbors
How often do you pull out the party plates and decorations? If you’re like me, that stuff spends the vast majority of time in the closet. But, when I need it, I’m glad to have it. What if instead of each person having their own supply of rarely-used party supplies a neighborhood could share the supplies, putting them to good use and reducing the amount of redundant consumption among friends. Pretty cool, right? The Party Box does just that.
4. 5 Ways to Give Your Kids a Free-Range Summer They’ll Love
Family foraging, outdoor exploring, running in the garden and creek-walking are all included in these tips for a free-range summer that beats a trip to “the Disney compound” any day.
5. Shareable’s Best Alternative Vacation Ideas
From staycations and cooperative tourism to organic farm exchanges, volunteerism and more, there’s no reason that this summer’s travel plans can’t break the mold of hotels and tourist traps. Here’s a batch of resources to get your toes twitching for non-traditional adventure.
6. How to Reinvent the Potluck
Photo: NatalieMaynor (CC-BY-2.0)
Potlucks are, as we all know, nothing new. In fact, they’re so familiar that they may get overlooked as the powerful community-strengthening tool that they are. Creating a space for friends, food, conversation, fun and connection is no small thing and it may provide an opening for further sharing and community-building. Here are 10 tips to pull off a great one.
7. How to Throw a Toy Exchange
Between birthdays and holidays, impulse buys, hand-me-downs and must-haves, the toys can really pile up. And, how many of them are in regular rotation? Chances are, there are plenty that the kid in your life could pass along without even noticing. A good way to do that is by throwing a toy exchange to share gently used items and pick up a few new ones. Here’s everything you need to get started.
8. How to Date Without Money
Wining and dining need not be an exercise in overspending to make a good impression on a date. There are countless things you can do that cost little-to-nothing, you just have to get creative. Shareable’s Mira Luna rounded up dozens of ideas that run the dating gamut including going for a hike, visiting a u-pick farm, hosting a game night, setting up a photo shoot, building a fort and more.
9. How to Share Your Way to an Eco-Friendly Vacation
Vacationing need not be an exercise in resource overuse. There are plenty of ways to get out and about while keeping your carbon footprint from getting oversized. Among the eco-friendly alternatives: use ridesharing or carsharing to get where you’re going, use sharing services to find eco-responsible accommodations, and ride bikes to get around once you’ve arrived.
10. How to Throw a House Concert
No need to go out to a concert when you can bring the music home. House concerts are a wonderful way to share music, support musicians and bring people together. Here are some tips and ideas to make sure things run smoothly.
11. 10 Ways to Create Community in a Suburban Hood
Want to create more community in your suburban neighborhood? There are lots of ways to do so. From front yard picnics and fence removals to shared bookshelves, here are 10 tips to get you started building community in your neighborhood.
12. How to Throw a Successful Yard Sale
Want to throw a great yard sale? You’ll need more than a newspaper ad. You’ll need to involve neighbors and friends, create some buzz, use both analog and digital methods to promote it, and make your event stand out.
13. How to Stage a Clothes Swap
Organizing a clothing swap is pretty straightforward: people bring gently-used clothing that they’re not longer using and exchange it for clothing they like. But there are several details that can transform your swap from a chaotic free-for-all into a well-organized event that leaves everyone happy and sporting some fresh duds.
14. Learn to Jam: 20 Tips for Making Music with Friends
Jamming with other people can be one of the great joys of being a musician. When everything’s going right, the experience can be sublime. But when it’s not going right, it can be very challenging to find the groove. Here are 20 suggestions for being part of a jam session that is inclusive, inspired and fun.
15. How to Plan an Edible Gardens Tour
Want to start a garden but you're not sure how? One of the best ways to get inspiration for your own garden is to see how others create theirs. An edible garden tour is a great way to see a lot, learn a lot about gardening and pick up some inspiration for your own spot of earth. If you can't find a garden tour near you, here's a quick how-to for planning your own.
Top photo: Basheer Tome (CC-BY-2.0). Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter