This a wild idea. Maybe it’s more of a stunt than a service. But with the power of the Web perhaps it’s possible: A way to ship something cross-country in just one day using almost no extra energy. Really puts the UNITED in United Parcel Service. Or maybe call it the Hand-Off Shipping Network. Basically people go to handoffshipping.com, just for fun and the eco-conscious kick and organizational thrill, and sign up, listing all the trips they regularly make, plus any extra scheduled longer trips.
The trick is we’ll need hundreds if not thousands of people to sign up, because this will be pretty tricky to pull off.
Anyway, in advance of the stunt/demonstration/actual “shipment,” members will get emails asking if they have, or can borrow, a copy of a particular item.
Let’s say it’s Romeo & Juliet. Let’s it’s the play, not the DVD.
You respond, yes, I have a copy, or yes, I can borrow a copy.
Then a program goes through all the matches and figures out a national handoff network. A network that connects members across the country.
So how does Romeo & Juliet get from Atlantic City (Point A) to Yuma (Point Z) in a single day?
Well, it doesn’t. Not exactly. But on National Energy-Free Shipping Network Demonstration Day each member SIMULTANEOUSLY takes his or her copy to the next point in the chain. So the guy in Yuma gets a copy that day from a gal from Santa Fe, who just happened to be traveling to Yuma. When she gets back to Santa Fe, she’ll find her copy was already replaced by a dude from Boulder. He’ll find a copy when he returns home as well, dropped off by a lass from Denver. And so on, all across the country, people passing along Romeo & Juliet to the next step in the chain, while someone else is replenishing their given away copy.
Hmm. Kind of like Karma Shipping. “The Love You Make Is Equal to the Love You Take.”
Wouldn’t it be cool to do this with wishes?
Instead of everyone having the same copy, everyone lays out a different wish. Then you go and check the list of wishes and check out off, “Hey, I could fill that!”
The right website could then create The National Wish Fulfillment Chain. A kind of programmed Pay It Forward.
Each chain would link up people so each person has a wish come true.
People, of course, could offer to grant wishes without asking for anything in return. That could be a check box: I’ll donate even if my wish isn’t granted.
Anybody want to help start either of these ideas?