Wednesday, April 06, 2011

And now for the Good News....

I did promise you some happy news somewhere along the line, about positive ways in which people around the world are responding to straitened economic circumstances, but I have been waiting for formal permission to include a couple of video clips. This has not exactly materialised, but since they are all about  sharing what we have, I'll include them now anyway in the hope that  (a) I will be forgiven and (b) there will be many ideas here which you can utilise.

Some, like Couch Surfing are international and very well known.  Others might just inspire you to get a local group going.  My sister put me onto these after they were recently featured on ABC National.  Rachel Botsman who made the videos and co author Roo Rodgers have also just published a book What's Mine is Yours, about this new trend they call Collaborative Consumption.



Can't understand it? Go to  http://www.ted.com/talks/rachel_botsman_the_case_for_collaborative_consumption.html
for subtitled versions in 21 languages.


A couple of other useful sites follow.

Collaborative Consumption Groundswell Video from rachel botsman on Vimeo.


WHAT'S MINE IS YOURS from rachel botsman on Vimeo.


This is a rather nice idea, if you don't like to eat alone and it could be as simple or as complex as you want.

growing things
No, this is not about meeting your beloved in the garden. It's about being matched up with someone who either wants to plant vegetables in your garden or who has space available. IT has just been brought to my attention that if you are interested in dating and gardening, there is in fact a site in the UK which promises just that http://www.lovegarden.co.uk/ on the premise that you will have more in common than randomly meeting people on line.

 If you live in an apartment, you don't have to miss out on home grown vegetables. Many communities have found vacant space - even on roadside verges and along old railway lines, to set up community 
gardens.

Landshare is an English Organisation 'connecting growers to people with land to share.'


Community Supported Agriculture. I first heard about this in Canada, but it is much bigger in the USA. Basically the idea is that city dwellers help farmers with the intial cost of seed and inputs and physically help with planting of mutually agreed crops. Later they help with the harvest and take a share. Don't know of any groups in Australia doing this yet, but it's an idea which could be followed up. 

Aussie Farmers Direct is an Australian company available in most states (not Tas. alas) which supports local producers and delivers direct to your door. It even gives you a refrigerated baggie for your order. It works very well in the ACT and I would love to see it here too.

Goods and Services

Let's Schemes are more or less local exchange communities, where you do say, an hour's child minding or gardening for someone else's time. Because credit vouchers are used, your skills do not have to match the the needs of the particular person whose services you need.

They are also available in all these countries. If there isn't one going where you live, perhaps it's time to get one going.

World / Africa / Asia / Oceanea / Europe / Nth America / Sth America


Freecycle - free goods, get rid of things you don't need. This is available in most states and internationally.
 If you live in Melbourne, there is also Gumtree which has free advertising for your stuff or what you need, though it does sound as if  you have to pay for things which you acquire.


NeighborGoods appears to exist only in the USA at present, but it could also be great here for those things you only use occasionally. This involves borrowing or renting out rarely used items such as lawn mowers and tools.


How NeighborGoods Works from NeighborGoods on Vimeo.


Travelling and Accommodation



If you are travelling, try the Hospitality Club which works in much the same way as as Couch Surfing i.e. you offer to have people at your place and you can stay at other people's places almost anywhere in the world.
House Swapping. This site links you to places in Australia and New Zealand. Home Exchange links you to homes in 80 countries and HomeLink to about 27, though I have not tried either of these sites myself. I have however, done some house sitting through House Carers, though there are a number of other companies doing this as well.

Transport

There are a number of rental sites such as Go Get, Zipster etc. but if you want to travel around the country Jayride is probably the best, though again, I have not tried it. If you are in Melbourne, Gumtree lists lots of carpools, community ride shares and forthcoming trips interstate. This area will be expanded as I look into some of the other schemes. If you have any experience -positive or negative, in this area or any others, listed or unlisted, please share them with us here.

Also any other great ideas you have come across.  Many of the listed sites have additional links which may be helpful. It's the new way to do things.

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