Bartering with beans
The Lifestyles and Livelihoods working group of Transition Stroud is running a series of events this autumn to get people thinking about money and how local currencies might contribute to a resilient local economy.
Molly Scott Cato, one of the organisers, said the first event on 21st September, was a great success and showed people that trading goods was more important then ending up with a pot of money, which in this case was beans. It was a Buy or Barter brunch where people were encouraged to play at trading using beans as currency. This gave all the chance to explore how markets work and what our personal economic strategies are.
This has led to plans for a barter market that will be held on December 7, where people can trade home-made gifts for Christmas presents – using an alternative currency that will only work for that day and which will be created specially out of beans. This event will be held at Mills Café.
Plus don't forget on November 9th they'll be holding a Lets Celebrate! day from 3-5pm at Mills Cafe, which accepted 100% payment in LETS for some time. We want to encourage people who were part of the scheme to join in this reunion – an opportunity remember and exchange their experiences whilst also enjoying some excellent tea and scones. We are encouraging people who were members of LETS to bring items they received through LETS trading; people who are new to the idea or the area are also welcome to come and learn more.
So what does a local currency have to do with a low-carbon economy? In the future we will need to meet more of our needs locally, and to do this we need to build a stronger local economy now. Money that is spent locally tends to stay longer in the local economy and circulates more times before it leaves. So using a local currency will build the strength of the local economy. We also hope it will encourage more people to make things to sell at the various events.