If you'd like to spend less, lessen your ecological footprint, and build connections with others in your community, then check out these great ideas for bartering or sharing to get what you need:
1. Hold a home-baked bread or dessert swap with friends and neighbors.
2. Grow your own fruits and vegetables to give away.
3. Share seeds, plants, and clippings from your garden.
4. Buy food or supplies in bulk and share with friends.
5. Start a dinner co-op.
6. Arrange a cooking day among friends where you all get together and prepare food in bulk.
7. Start a good times/bad times dinner program in your neighborhood. When something momentous happens to a family (having a baby, losing a loved one, illness, etc.), form a neighborhood team to provide dinners on a rotating basis until the family is back on its feet.
8. Start a babysitting or childcare co-op.
9. Start a pet-sitting co-op.
10. Arrange to look after a sick friend with neighbors.
11. Form a home-repair team. Give and get services from painting to mowing the lawn, to putting up a fence or fixing the roof.
12. Share infrequently used tools and garden supplies. Start a community toolshed.
13. Collect partially used or unused cans of paint to share and exchange. It saves money and cuts down on toxic waste.
14. Hold a clothes swap at work, at your house of worship or on your street.
15. Hold toy or sporting goods swaps/exchanges for kids so they can learn new sports and games.
16. Exchange music, art, or cooking lessons.
17. Arrange a used book swap in your apartment building, in your neighborhood, at your workplace, or at your house of worship.
18. Start a skills exchange in your community.
19. Start a carpool in your neighborhood or office.
20. Swap your skills for accommodation. Provide accounting, housework, nursing care, childcare, or other skills in return for a room in a house.
21. Alternatively, provide accommodations in your house to get the services you need and help a student or young person get started.
22. Adopt a stream or a highway to restore or improve.
23. Give a traveler a place to stay.
24. Set up an area at a community center, apartment building, or hourse of worship where people can leave items they no longer need for others. Give what’s left to a charity.
25. Volunteer your time and energy in your neighborhood, city, town, or region.
Learn more about Shopping and Unshopping for people and the planet at Co-op America. All rights reserved.
What is Coop America?
Co-op America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. Our mission is to harness economic power--the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace--to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.