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June 2009, Berkeley, CA—While most people struggle to adapt to the financial, environmental, and unemployment crises around the globe, a new movement is emerging to help them. It’s quite possible that sharing resources – such as through car sharing, tool lending libraries, and workplace sharing programs – is one of the single most important things we can do to affect change in our own backyard and in the world at large.

In their new book, THE SHARING SOLUTION: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community (ISBN 978-1-4133-1021-4; $24.99; June 2009), attorneys Janelle Orsi and Emily Doskow combine legal acumen, analytical skills and some of their own lifestyle practices to offer a new vision for how rich and poor, people in large cities and small towns, how anyone can share resources. Their book is essential reading for people looking to save time and money, while making neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities healthier and more sustainable.

THE SHARING SOLUTION begins with a simple premise: sharing things rather than buying them—everything from cars, houses, and boats to workspaces, food, and household tools—saves money and time, and helps to lighten our carbon footprint.

Readers will find accessible, practical information sharing, along with tips and examples about how to share in these modern times. The book also spotlights people and organizations around the country who are taking sharing to a whole new level.

In Part I, readers get the basics: ideas on what to share and who you can share with, common issues to discuss with fellow sharers, and best practices on how to communicate, make decisions, and resolve disputes in a sharing group. The book also includes an entire chapter devoted to an all-important tool for successful sharing arrangements: the written sharing agreement. Part II of the book offers extensive detail on sharing in multiple realms of life: housing, transportation, food, consumer goods, work, family care, and more. (more)

Both authors are committed to sharing. Orsi runs a law practice that assists individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses in sharing resources. She lives in “casual cohousing” and shares meals and a neighborhood garden. She and Doskow, an active member of a neighborhood work group, also share their workspace.

The ultimate beauty of sharing, write Orsi and Doskow, is that it’s a solution we create for ourselves. It’s not a government program, nor is it “the latest and greatest” product marketed to us on a billboard. Sharing is a solution based entirely on our own needs and lifestyles, and in our own communities, and it offers each of us the opportunity to shape our own lives in positive ways.

About the Authors – Visit the authors on their blog: www.thesharingsolution.com

Janelle Orsi is an attorney living and working in Berkeley, California. Her law and mediation practice is focused on helping individuals and organizations share resources and create more sustainable communities. She specializes in nonprofit, small business, and real estate law, as well as a new field of practice – sharing law. Previously, she was Executive Director of Women Defenders, a professional organization of women defense attorneys and has worked in a range of legal practice areas, including criminal defense, youth law, immigration, adoptions, LGBT rights, and estate planning.

Emily Doskow has been practicing law in the Bay Area since 1989. Currently her law practice is focused on LGBT family law, including adoptions, parentage, domestic partnerships, and uncontested dissolutions. A graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, Emily is a frequent speaker about LGBT adoption and parenting issues, and is the author of Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce as well as several other Nolo titles. Emily participates in a neighborhood sharing group and has shared office space and employees. The authors share office space in Berkeley, California.

About Nolo

Nolo is the country’s leading publisher of plain-English legal and business tools. Our website (www.nolo.com), books, software, online legal forms and eProducts cover all sorts of everyday legal matters and are regularly updated by experts. Nolo also offers a lawyer directory (lawyers.nolo.com), which provides detailed profiles of attorney advertisers. Visit nolo.com

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Early Praise for


How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community

Janelle Orsi and Emily Doskow

“It’s possible someone has published a mor timely book, but I’ve never seen it. For a planet dealing with economic crisis and ecological limit, sharing is not only the right and moral solution, it’s the necessary (and charming) one as well.” ─BILL MCKIBBEN, author of Deep Economy

“So often people are enthused by the vision and possibilities of collaborative ventures only to be stymied by the details of how to get started to actually implement their vision. The Sharing Solution offers a practical, step-by-step approach for a whole range of collaborative ventures. Its easy to read and accessible information provides a great resource for the more community-oriented future we must move toward.”─KATHRYN MCCAMANT, Architect and Developer, CoHousing Partners, McCamant & Durrett Architects; co-author of CoHousing: A Contemporary Approach To Housing Ourselves.

“From the neighborhood level to the global, sharing may be the single most important strategy to reduce our environmental impact, gain financial health, promote equity and have fun. The Sharing Solution provides valuable advice and how-to tips for seasoned sharers and new converts. [It’s] a tremendously valuable resource for us all, and a must-read for those who want to chart a new path: a more sustainable, more compassionate and more fun one.” ─ANNIE LEONARD, Author and Host of The Story of Stuff; Time Magazine 2008 Hero of the Environment

“Whatever you might want to share—from cars to housing to power tools to bulk food purchases—this canny, thorough book offers detailed advice on how to make clear sharing agreements and minimize potential confusion and conflict.” ─ERNEST CALLENBACH, author of ECOTOPIA and ECOTOPIA EMERGING

“…This book is a welcome reminder of that other, almost forgotten, defining element in American culture: the pursuit of the common good…” ─BRUCE SIEVERS, Senior Fellow, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers; Visiting Scholar, Stanford University