Will Barter Systems Become a Thing?
During the emotionally bleak year of 2020 I found great comfort in my backyard. We have a garden and it exploded in produce. That kept my mind and hands busy. It was a lifesaver.
Our fence is wire and we got to see our neighbors out in their garden. This was also a great comfort, as we were cut off from most other humans.
To say hello and have conversation in the sun was lovely! We traded produce over the fence and took care of each other in this way.
Now in 2022 I find the adventure continues. Lately I have traded eggs for lumber with the neighbor to the left. Both of these commodities are very valuable right now. Last week a friend shared two gigantic bags of potatoes that needed to be eaten quickly. This of course spread among many people. I love that the farmers did that. They either had to throw away all of their potatoes or bless the community with it. They chose to bless.
It is worth it to…
- Know your neighbors, and if you don’t know them, begin to. More on that in a sec.
- Have an open vibe vs. a closed off isolated vibe.
- Believe in abundance. I believe in it and I have had no shortages in these past two years. In fact, my GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has only increased. Having a “Preppers Mind” laid the foundation for this.
Barter Buddies - Start Now to Build Friendships
There are apps that help people find used items and even trade without the use of money. Give those apps a try.
If you want a smaller system with familiar people…build one. Hold a potluck, invite people with the intent that in the future you may be trading among yourselves.
There is not a need for this now, because society is running fine. But in the future, if war is here, knowing the faces on your street is a win win.
What Are You Good At?
Build a list of things you can do and things you have a lot of.
Here is an example:
I have a lot of nails
I can cut hair
I bake artisan breads
I’m good at organizing events and people
Scrubbing bathrooms does not bother me.
All of your talents or items are valuable. Even talents or skills you might think are quirky.
You can start a shared document and have people add their skills, talents and items. Why wait for a war or a bad market? You could begin trading these things now.
In this group you can have a grocery share too. When I buy a bag of avocado’s for the low price, they ripen all at once and then I have to eat them fast. I love guacamole but not oozing out of my ears.
There are apps for grocery sharing. Who has food or money to waste these days? I don’t.
Many pre-cursors of the barter system are already in place. I think Farmers Markets, produce co-ops, over the fence conversations, church groups, and Facebook MarketPlace have already prepped us to be traders.
When the time comes to depend on each other for things we want and need I think it will be a relatively simple shift.
At my church we have a huge clothing swap once a year, right before school starts. It is phenomenal! Everyone brings clothes they no longer want. Organizers sort these by gender and sizes. And then you take what you want. I got excellent clothes even after everything had been picked over. No money was involved at all. There was no limit to the amount one took. And I got rid of piles of clothes that I was really sick of tripping over.
As a community we have great power against poverty, isolation and hopelessness. There is a lovely synergy among people who are open to sharing and taking care of each other.
Disasters, accidents, or wars can be softened by goodness. Step on, prep on and trade!
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