In The Sharing Economy We Trust
Here at Camp Rentique, we are big advocates of the sharing economy. We believe non-renewable resources are being unnecessarily wasted through inefficient use of assets. Simply put, we hate the idea of waste.
Camping and sharing economy
Camp Rentique was started with one question in mind, "Why do we need to OWN camping gear that we use once a year at best?"
Why spend non-renewable resources on making items that are so rarely used?
Often, in the pursuit of ownership, we choose to buy low-quality camping gear. We do this to minimize the cost. This gear is often poorly made and breaks after the first couple of uses ending up in the landfill. How do we justify the use of all the natural resources to produce and transport a tent across the world that is used so little before ending up in the landfill?
Worst yet, we keep hearing stories of people burning their cheap camping gear at the end of their trip. They don't have the space to store it or the gear had already broken down by that point. What a way to (literally) burn valuable resources!
We propose to share high-quality ethically made camping gear. This gear is well made. It lasts for a long time. And, most importantly, it makes camping enjoyable and comfortable. It makes you want to do more of it.
When looking at the price of well-made gear, a lot of us would never justify such an expense. But when we share this gear, we get the opportunity to enjoy well-made camping equipment without the hefty price tag. At the end of the day, what matters is the quality of your camping experience and the memories you make. Not whether you own the camping gear or not. High-quality camping gear makes camping a lot more enjoyable.
The main lesson learned
Our founder, Polina Ratnichkina, worked as a Supply Chain manager years ago. She saw first-hand how unsustainable many industrial practices are. The mountains of waste that is often not recycled didn't sit well with her.
She decided to pursue a Master's in Environmental Applied Science and Management at Ryerson University. Her goal was to study various waste-cutting methods available to businesses.
Her thesis looked into the idea of returnable packaging. How can businesses encourage their customers to return reusable packaging so it can be reused again? She looked into different incentives for consumers. Contrary to popular belief, money was not the best way to motivate people. Making it easier was the best thing for making them return the packaging for reuse (participating in sustainable consumption).
If you make participating in the sharing economy easy, people will do it was the main lesson Polina learned from two years of studying the topic.
Renting camping gear is one of the ways people can participate in the sharing economy. Our job at Camp Rentique is to make sure that this process is as easy as possible. We offer seamless online booking. We deliver rentals straight to people's homes and pick them up after the trip. Can it get any easier than that?
The Waste-Not mentality at Camp Rentique
At Camp Rentique, we prefer to invest in gear that can be repaired. Unfortunately, a lot of products these days are built with the idea of planned obsolescence.
When selecting suppliers for our rental gear, we choose companies that build long-lasting products that can be easily repaired.
If a tent pole breaks, we want to be able to replace the broken pole, not throw out an otherwise perfectly functional tent.
Unavoidably, our gear reaches its end of life in our business. But end-of-life in our business does not mean the product is no longer useful. We donate our gear to local charities that are in need of such items. If the item is no longer usable, we find the best place that would recycle it.