How the Rental Industry Helps Solve the Sustainability Crisis

How the Rental Industry Helps Solve the Sustainability Crisis

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There’s no question that the world is in a sustainability crisis. Climate change is real, and it’s happening right now. The economy is struggling, natural resources are running low, and pollution is at an all-time high. Humans need to take action immediately. The good news is there are things we can do to mitigate the problem. 

As a rental service industry leader, we at Rēlentless have the responsibility of being a positive enabler of environmentally sustainable business models. We are proud to provide the technology and services necessary to accelerate and facilitate the sustainable circular economy of rental commerce.

We Live in a Throw-away Society

The culture of convenience has a strong gravitational pull. We want things now and don’t like the idea of not having the latest devices or equipment. Most smartphone users opt to replace their phones long before the end of their lifespans. We’d rather own something brand-new than fix it. 

These habits have created a throw-away society, spurred on by big box stores. The average American upgrades their smartphone every 22 months. Collectively, the United States throws away around 151 million phones every year. This manufactured obsolescence is a practice that reduces product lifespans by forcing consumers to buy new versions or replacements. 

Common to electronics, obsolescence is often part of the hardware or software design. The constant demand for new phones generates billions of dollars for manufacturers yearly, yet it contributes to the growing e-waste crisis.

While some believe future generations will solve our mistakes, we can’t expect Gen Z to tackle them without a zeitgeist shift. One segment of the economy that can help is the rental industry. The rental sector has the potential to reduce pollution, conserve resources, and boost the economy all at the same time.

Rentals Can Save the World 

The rental service sector has the potential to save the world. The industry can reduce waste and consumption by giving people access to items they need without purchasing them. The sharing economy that rental services embody can help to build community and connection. When people share resources, it helps lead to a more sustainable and equitable world.

The need for easy and accessible rental services has never been greater than in today’s climate. When you rent items instead of purchasing them, you effectively share a single item with other consumers who opted out of purchasing. 

That single rented item, over its lifetime, can serve as a substitute for many purchased items. Multiply that by every rented item in the U.S. and the positive environmental effect is staggering.

Rentals can save your customers money. Some higher ticket items you might rent instead of purchasing include:

  • Baby furniture
  • Kids’ sporting equipment
  • Camping equipment 
  • Hobby related items
  • Expensive electronic kitchen items 
  • Startup office furniture, printers, and computers

Save money and put it to better use. Instead of buying new equipment, get access to the most up-to-date resources through a trustworthy, knowledgeable rental partner. 

Related: Why is it Better to Rent A/V Equipment?

The Benefits of a Shared Economy Over Ownership 

If humans are to find lasting solutions, the way we view our possessions will have to be a part of that conversation. The traditional concept of ownership is no longer as desirable as it used to be. Instead, people are beginning to rely on a shared economy for their needs.

Historically, construction contractors considered renting as a last resort. But ever since the rental industry evolved, perspectives on rentals have shifted. The benefits and business advantages of renting versus buying have gained popularity among contractors in the last 20 years. As equipment has become more complex, rental partners can readily assist.

Some benefits of renting over owning include:

  • Free yourself of the drudgery of maintenance and repairs.
  • If you don’t own the product, it’s less expensive. Keep upkeep to a minimum.
  • Free your business from the limitations of outdated equipment.

Rēlentless Is Making Rental Easier

Rēlentless provides the rental industry with customized, integrated eCommerce solutions. We help rental businesses harness their rental asset management software to reach operational and business objectives. 

We provide rental operators with solutions in three categories: 

  • Custom software development
  • Rental software integration
  • “Overnight” rental commerce 

The third option, a product we call EasyRentals, integrates all our knowledge and experience into one platform. With EasyRentals, you can seamlessly integrate your web storefront to your inventory data, invoicing, payments, and warehouse management.  

EasyRentals is an e-commerce platform designed specifically for the unique needs of rental operators. Most e-commerce templates aren’t built for the realities of the rental industry’s circular workflow. There’s no room for revolving inventory, processing returns, cleaning, or restocking. 

Rēlentless created EasyRentals to make e-commerce easy for rental operators who are eager to implement an e-commerce storefront — as well as operators who already have a storefront but are eager to free themselves of the manual work of managing and maintaining it. 

Rēlentless is on a mission to reduce the planet’s carbon footprint and consumer waste through innovative rental solutions. Together, we can reach more customers to rent more and buy less, and ultimately reduce our damage to the environment.

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