I live in a sea of apartments.
Really, it's probably only a few hundred units, but when I'm walking around playing Ingress the building after building makes it feel that way. For each of these apartments, there are people inside that all need some of the same things. That's where the SWAN part comes in - Stuff We All Need. I'll use toilet paper as an example, but pretty much everything Proctor and Gamble makes probably qualifies.
The way it works now:
Someone makes a bunch of toilet paper and then they sell it to a retailer. It's shipped from the plant to the stores, and then all of the apartment dwellers drive their cars to the store and buy it for significantly more than the retailer paid for it. Then they drive it home. Rinse and repeat every week or so.
What I'm thinking:
The apartment dwellers unite under the SWAN Co-Op banner and make bulk purchases directly from the manufacturers. They ship it to a distribution center that breaks it into deliverables for each apartment, and on a weekly delivery they drop it off at the apartment complex. This:
- avoids paying the retailers market, so SWAN participants save
- fewer trips to the store reduces the carbon footprint of everyday life