What is it? A sharing or bartering network encourages local purchasing and economic transaction without monetary exchanges. All communities contain underutilized resources. By establishing a network to help connect individuals and businesses willing to engage in sharing and barter-based transactions, communities tap into these resources while strengthening and supporting the local economy. These exchanges may take many forms. In some cases, barter exchanges are labor based where individuals may offer an hour (or more) of work in an area where they are skilled (ranging from home repair to resume preparation to guitar lessons). In exchange, individuals receive a “credit” for the same amount of time from someone else in the community with a different skill. Regardess of the precise form, these types of networks help individuals use local services and products while bringing people together and providing benefits for all involved.
How has it been used? Cville Swaps has hosted several food swapping events in Charlottesville, Virginia. People are invited to a swap event. Participants bring homemade, homegrown or foraged items that they are willing to share. At the swap, individuals trade items with each other. This form of exchange helps provide people with local food while also building a stronger sense of community among participants. The events also help eliminate waste by making sure that these resources are spread throughout the community. (Source: Cville Swaps)