Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Share Some Sugar Goes Social! New Updates & Features!

New Features Have Launched!
After lots of hard work, we are proud to announce some exciting new (and useful) features to Share Some Sugar! It's now easier for you to share, borrow and have a great experience in your neighborhood! Thanks for all of your great feedback. It helped us improve the site to meet (and hopefully exceed) your needs!

Here's a flavor of what you can experience now on Share Some Sugar:

Sharing Groups: Share Within Your Social Network! Now you can now share with people you know and trust. Create your own Sharing Groups and invite your friends from Facebook or by entering their email addresses. Click 'Create New Group' and follow the steps from there!

Wishlist: We'll Help You Find Things That You Need! Looking for something that hasn't been posted yet? Add it to your wishlist and we'll notify you as soon as someone has posted it. Click 'Add to My Wishlist'!

And lots, lots more!

- Merge Your Facebook account with Share Some Sugar to take full advantage of our new features.
- Search and browse for items within your Friends, Groups and your Neighborhood.
- Item icons are now pictures of the exact item so it's easier to visually browse and borrow.
- Neighborhood Buzz: see what your friends (and groups) are sharing, borrowing and wishing for.

We love hearing from you- so send us your ideas or just let us know how we're doing, so we can continue to improve the Share Some Sugar experience!

Your Neighbors,

Shugie (your favorite neighbor) & Keara (Share Some Sugar founder)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

I came across this video (via Shareable, one of my favorite blogs)that does a fantastic job highlighting the future of conusmption: Collaborative Consumption. It's amazing how many different solutions people, company and organizations are coming up with all with the goal of reducing wasteful spending and consumption of newly produced goods. From bikeshare programs to ZipCar and their new app which 100,000 people in the first week to bartering services and gifting economies.... we are just on the cusp of a new mode of consumption.

The interesting thing is that most of these new service based ideas all intrinsically connect people to each other in different ways. If it's meeting a new person when you pick up an item on freecycle or unlocking a rental bike at a bike sharing rack and meeting someone doing the same thing... peers, people with similar interest are connecting in ways that have not been common in a long time.

It's an exciting time right now and we're exciting to be a part of this socioeconomic shift!

Check out the awesome video!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Build a Sharing Community in Your Neighborhood

We have received lots of requests from our Share Some Sugar neighbors who are looking to grow a sharing community in their neighborhood. Here are a 3 simple ideas to help you out:

1. Print this poster and hang it around your neighborhood or put it in neighbors mailboxes. Don't forget to write in your own zip code! (click on the image and then again to zoom in for full size poster)

2. Forward to the your neighborhood council director and tell them how it's an easy way to meet new neighbors, be resourceful and environmentally responsible and save money!

3. Every neighbor knows a few more neighbors. Tell the neighbors that you know about Share Some Sugar and ask them to tell the neighbors that they know!

Email us with ideas, feedback or stories on how you are building a sharing community in your neighborhood!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jack Johnson's Sharing Song

We swear we didn't commission Jack Johnson to write this song for us;) Check out Jack Johnson's Sharing Song:

Here are the lyrics:
It's always more fun

To share with everyone
It's always more fun
To share with everyone
If you have two
Give one to your friend
If you have three
Give one to your friend and me
It's always more fun
To share with everyone
It's always more fun
To share with everyone
If you've got one
Here is something you can learn
You can still share
Just by taking turns
If you've got a ball
Bounce it to the gang
If there is a new kid
Invite him out to hang
If you've got one sandwich
Cut that thing in half
If you know a secret joke
Tell it and share a laugh
If you've got one drumsticks
Give one to your friend
Make one beautiful rhythm
Share a beat that never ends
And if you're feeling lonely
Share time with your mom
Share some milk and cookies
And sing the sharing song
It's always more fun
To share with everyone
It's always more fun
To share with everyone

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Universal Design Observations from the Grocery Store

Insight from the Grocery Store: The shopping experience is not designed for people in wheelchairs. It's not an inclusive, universal design.

Observations from co-shopping with Cheryl, a woman in a wheel chair that I met at Biggs after watching her struggle:
#1: Cheryl couldn't see above the 3rd shelf. If she wanted something from the 4th shelf she needed someone to help her.
#2: Luckily there's an electric wheel chair shopping cart. However when it's time to place the items from the cart on the conveyor belt at check out, Cheryl struggled. She didn't have the strength or reach to move a small bag of cat food onto the belt.
#3: Similar to the check out experience, Cheryl couldn't place her grocery bags in the trunk of her car. Regardless of weight (she asked for them to put just a few items in each bag), her bumper was too deep so she couldn't get close enough to her trunk. When she tried to put a bag in the trunk, it ended up hitting the floor.
#4: Grabbing an apple is like asking to play 52 card pick up. For those not in wheel chairs, we tend to grab an apple that is placed in a path of least resistance. But Cheryl could only reach the apple on the bottom of pile...then about 15 more apples came rolling down.

I could go on and on. Luckily I was there to help Cheryl. I let her do as much as she could because she wanted to feel independent and empowered. I helped where I could. It was painful to watch.

I ask that you reach out to and offer to help someone who clearly would appreciate your assistance. If they turn you down, that's fine. But at least you offered.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Group Cooking & Being Resourceful in the Kitchen

This past weekend I was on a ski trip with a group of 13 friends. We went to Steamboat, Colorado. Steamboat ain't cheap. Between the $95/day lift tickets, $370 condo, flight and shuttle... I quickly realized that I wasn't going to be going out for nice meals. Fortunately my friends were on the same page. So what did we do...we went grocery shopping and made 10/11 meals in the kitchen, spending $54 per person for the whole trip, and that includes alcohol and lots of yummy snacks!

I always look forward to a good chili bread bowl on the mountain, but I decided to skip out on this annual indulgence and opt for carrying lunch with me everyday. Well it was really my awesome friend Michelle who carried our lunch in her backpack! So what if my turkey sandwich looked like it was runover by a was still tasty!

Our friends who went grocery shopping did a great job with quantity. It's hard to guesstimate who much food you'll need for 14 people ovef 4 days. Monday morning came...our last morning in Steamboat. I was planning on having oatmeal until I opened the fridge and cupboard to find a bunch of random leftover items. These leftovers included:
  • cooked pasta 
  • leftover chili - a lot of it!
  • spinach
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • garlic
  • eggs
  • apples
  • brown and white sugar
  • olive oil
  • tomatoes
  • tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • and graham crackers
There was no way that I was going to let all of this food go to waste. So before most people woke up a few of us decided to try to pull together an elaborate meal using all of the leftover ingredients. Here's what we came up with:

Yummy Frittata

First we laid about 1/2" of leftover pasta on the bottom of a casserole. Next we beat  6 eggs and poured them over the pasta.  Then came some salt and garlic. We sprinkled cheese and then boiled down a large container of spinach in a separate pot and then poured it over the cheese. Another sprinkled layer of cheese. We then cooked the Frittata in the over for 45 minutes on 375, but after 40 mins we placed 2 chopped up tomatoes on the top layer, covered by another layer of cheese. Once the Frittata was done cooking, we served it with guacamole and salsa on the side.

Breakfast Graham Carmel Apple Pie-less Dessert

Who says you can't have dessert for breakfast?
Of course you can! Here's how: Slice up 4 apples- any kind that you have laying around. Place them in a frying pan and cook for 5 minutes. Next, pour 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 of white sugar over top. Let the sugars melt and stir everything together. The sugar will turn into a carmel. Cover the pan and let it sit until the apples are soft. YOU MUST TASTE THE APPLES TO see if they are ready...careful, they are hot! Once they are cooked, pour the mix into a caserole lined with 8-10 mashed up graham crackers. Then pour 8-10 more mashed up graham crackers over the apples. In order to keep the top layer of graham crackers in place, make some more carmel: 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 of white sugar and 1/4 cup of milk in a pan= stir until carmel yumminess. Pour the carmel over the top graham layer and place in fridge for 20-30 mins until carmel is solidified.

Bon apatite! Enjoy your leftover yumminess for breakfast anf feel good about being a resourceful frugalista!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

From eCommerce to eBorrowing

I rencently guest blogged about eBorrowing on Here's the article:

From eCommerce to eBorrowing
January 28, 2010
OpEd Guest Post By Keara Schwartz, Founder of Share Some Sugar 

So you’re a business owner and DIYer and you’re planning on painting your office this weekend. What do you need to complete the job? A paint roller and extender, a drop cloth, a ladder, paint brushes and of course paint. Head to a local or online hardware store and your tab can easily run you upwards of $150. That’s a lot of money to spend when you end up using these items so infrequently. 

But what’s the alternative? You already saved yourself lots of money by signing up to paint your living room yourself rather than hiring a professional painter. Think about all of the people that live in your neighborhood who probably already own these painting tools. How do you know who has what? If you could type in ‘ladder’ on Google Shopping and you get approximately 128,000 search results on ecommerce sites, you should be able to do the same thing in your own community and find neighbors and friends who are willing to lend you what you need. 

Welcome to the world of eBorrowing. An online world full of items that people own and are willing to share with people who need to use them. Lots of people own items that collect a lot of dust because the items don’t get used very often. These people are usually happy to share things, like a ladder, with someone who needs it for a weekend project to paint their living room. 

A new era has emerged. An era of C2C or consumer to consumer sharing sites which finds someone in your neighborhood who is willing to lend you something that you need. Sharing or eBorrowing sites leverage consumers’ existing inventory, or items that people already own. 

The concept of eBorrowing is not new. B2C services like, the car sharing service, a site that lends out designer purses and accessories, have recently been gaining critical mass. Why? Because it doesn’t make much sense to purchase and own something that you don’t use all that often. But why are these sites gaining popularity now? Well this reasoning is rooted in the current economic climeate where consumers are consuming more consciously. These sharing services have a high capital investment in inventory and the consumer pays directly to a business. 

These days, consumers are asking themselves if they really need to buy that ‘ladder’ that they will use once or twice a year. Or if it makes more sense to borrow or rent it from a friend, neighbor or another small business, use it and give it back when they are done. Borrowing and sharing isn’t for everyone. It is however one economic and environmental solution that fulfills your need to temporarily use an item. Next time you consider buying a durable item that you may use infrequently, ask yourself if you really need to own the item or if you could just borrow it instead.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Life without Cable!

So one of my new years resolutions was to save money. One way that I decided to save money is by canceling my cable. I had already downgraded to the cheapest package which consisted of what seemed like sub basic cable channels. I had the 4 main local news channels and then about 75 infomercial channels. So really there were only 4 legitimate options of shows to watch at once. I did DVR shows and movies that I'd otherwise miss while at work. But all in all I realized that:

#1 I don't watch that much TV. I had been watching the news in the morning and at night. However I don't really have any 'shows'. I'll admit the only show I watch each week is 'The Bachelor', and my girl friends and I get together to watch it.
#2 With HULU and the growth of t.v shows and movies being streamed on the internet, I figured that I could just watch 'T.V' on the computer if I really wanted to watch a show.
#3 I can read the news online to stay in touch with what's going on in the world and in my city. I had already been doing this, but with the absence of TV, I just rely solely on getting the news online.
#4 I'm not a big reader, I'll admit. Without TV I end up reading more!

Beyond the internet...
So now that I don't have cable, I have not only been watching 'TV" online, but I've also been wiping the dust off of my DVD's. I own approximately 25 DVD's. I decided that I would post my DVD's on Share Some Sugar so others could borrow them. If you're reading this and you own 1 DVD, I have a request. How about posting your DVD on Share Some Sugar and helping out the Cable-less people like myself?

If you're not a member yet, go ahead and sign up @
Once you're a member:
- Click on 'my items'-->Add one item
- Click on Entertainment-->Other-->DVD
and enter the title of the movie and any info along with a photo of
the movie (you can grab one from Amazon).
That's it!

I look forward to being able to borrow movies from neighbors instead of buying or paying to rent them. I hope you are excited for this as well! Let's all save $, meet new neighbors and catch up on movies while it's freezing cold outside!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Northside Knows Community!

I had the opportunity tonight to talk about Share Some Sugar at the Northside Community Council meeting. I've been to several neighborhood council meetings over the last few weeks in an effort to meet other Cincinnati Neighbors who are committed to building Community in Neighborhoods.

There are lots of really awesome things that Northside Neighbors are doing to build a sustainable community. I'd like to share some of the great things that were talked about at the meeting.
  • Two very passionate neighbors, Jon and Heather are starting a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group in Northside. I love that they are building this from the ground up. But the thing that really got me excited is that there are lots of ways for neighbors to get involved. You can not only purchase locally grown food, help garden and grow produce, but you can also share your garden with the CSA so they can use it grow veggies! What a fantastic use of privately owned space. They have a vision of using as much local land as they can get their hands on to grow local food and then support the community with it!
  • In the good old days, neighbors would knock on your door and bring you baked goods when you moved in the neighborhood. In Northside they've evolved this tradition of welcoming new neighbors by having Meet & Greet events and neighborhood potlucks!
  • Northside is planning to grow their 'Northside Goes Green' Earth Week into a bigger and better week this year. With plans to have another 'Reduce/Recycle/Run-Walk-Bike' race, a 40th Earth Day celebration, Great American Cleanup and lots more! Looking forward to Earth Week! 
  • Northside has moved their wonderful farmers market indoors for the winter:North Presbyterian Church Auditorium at 4222 Hamilton Avenue on Wednesdays 4:00- 7:30pm from now until the market moves back outside in the spring. For more information contact Robin Hendersonvia email or at 513-591-0083.
  • There's a Bicycle Cooperative in Northside; MOBO! Who knew?! Bring your bike and work on it all year long.
Looking forward to partaking in some of the Northside upcoming events!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Neighborhood Swap Meet Success!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Neighborhood Swap Meet and for bringing such great stuff to swap!! After all of the swapping, we donated about 15 bags on unswapped items to CAIN (Churches Active in Northside)! It's been a while since I've seen a Sega/Genesis!
Neighborhood Swap Meet Photos here

Thursday, December 10, 2009 Article: Why I Started Share Some Sugar

reposted from

Saybrook Avenue is your typical street in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati, OH. It’s lined with small starter homes with front porches that anyone from young professionals to retired couples reside in. Unlike many of the new subdivisions, it happens to feel like a neighborhood.
Four years ago I moved from a small apartment in Manhattan to one of these starter homes in Cincinnati. When I moved into my house I needed a lot of house things like power tools, gardening tools and lots of other items that would help me take care of my house. I got to know a few of my neighbors who were all really friendly and offered to let me borrow anything that I needed. I was so appreciative of their offers since it saved me money and time going to the hardware store.
Every once in a while there was something random like a tall ladder that I needed and no one that I knew had it. The idea of spending $100 dollars on something that I would probably only use once or twice made my stomach turn. I thought to myself, "There must be someone in my neighborhood who has a ladder," but I didn’t know who that was. Off I went door to door asking neighbors who had a ladder. “I don’t have one, but I think Greg down the street does.” And so I went to Greg’s house. “I think Amy and Ted are borrowing my ladder, but I can’t remember if they still have it or not.”
As I was going from house to house, I realized a few things. First, I was meeting all of these new neighbors that I hadn’t previously met. Borrowing things was actually a great way to meet new neighbors! Second, wow, why is it so difficult to find out who has what in my neighborhood? There has to be a simpler way to go about this. I can go online and search to buy a ladder and get over 120,000 results, yet I can’t find someone in my own neighborhood who has one.
Two and a half years later I needed that ladder again, but I found out that Greg had moved. At the same time the economy was in a downturn and people’s spending habits were changing.
Out were the days of buying something that sat in your closet collecting dust, and in were the days of only really buying what you needed to get by. The Green Movement was becoming more widely adopted. Bringing your own reusable grocery bags to the store was not only for the eco-conscious college student, but soccer moms were following suit. People were downsizing their homes and staying in to watch a movie rather than taking the family out to dinner and to the movie theatre. Most people were a part of online communities such as Facebook or LinkedIn, but did not feel like they had a sense of community in their own neighborhood.
All of these societal shifts prompted me to think about the insight that I had a few years back, "Wow, it’s really hard to find someone in your neighborhood who has something that you need. There’s got to be a solution to this problem."
And so I created 
Share Some Sugar, an online service that finds someone in your neighborhood who is willing to lend you something that you need. Need that ladder? Or how about borrowing an Xbox and Guitar hero for your holiday? You can go to and type in the item along with your zip code. A list of results come up, showing which neighbors are willing to lend out that item. You then request to borrow the item for the dates that you need it. Once they accept the request, you meet your neighbor to borrow the item, use it and return it to them.
There is a security deposit feature and a contract as options to make you feel more secure in your transaction. Similar to eBay, you can leave feedback for your neighbor. This feedback system enables other neighbors to find out more about other neighbors sharing history prior to initiating a request with them.
When you become a member you choose a neighborhood that you would like to join. You can either join an existing neighborhood or create a new one, like one for your apartment building. The neighborhood discussion groups enable you to connect with your neighbors online. You can plan block parties, give away an old bike that your child outgrew, get a recommendation for a babysitter or anything else.
Why buy when you can borrow from a neighbor? You can:

  • Lower your environmental footprint by consuming less.
  • Save money by borrowing instead of buying.
  • Get to know new neighbors and watch your neighborhood turn into a community.

We look forward to sharing with you and your neighbors at Share Some Sugar!