Here are three creations that are DOing for your communities around the globe. Do you know of more? Check out one near you and get stared. Work with your neighbors in existing communities or hook up with people near you to establish communities.
One is Craigslist.
Find your city in your state. Click on Community category. Just type in Barter in ALL Community and click the Title radio button for results.
You may want to search around the site for other possibilities under other categories too.
The second one is FreeCycle.
On May 1st, 2003, Deron Beal sent out the first e-mail announcing The Freecycle Network™ to about 30 or 40 friends and a handful of nonprofits in Tucson, Arizona. At the time Deron founded The Freecycle Network, he worked with a small nonprofit organization, RISE, which provides recycling services to downtown businesses and transitional employment to Tucsonans in need.
As the team recycled, rather than watching perfectly good items being thrown away, they found themselves calling or driving around to see if various local nonprofits could use them. Thinking there had to be an easier way, Beal set up that first Freecycle e-mail group in a way that permitted everyone in Tucson to give and to get. Freecycle was off and running.
The Freecycle concept has since spread to over 85 countries, where there are thousands of local groups representing millions of of members — people helping people and ‘changing the world one gift at a time.’ As a result, we are currently keeping over 500 tons a day out of landfills! This amounts to five times the height of Mt. Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks!
By giving freely with no strings attached, members of The Freecycle Network help instill a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure.
The Freecycle Network is incorporated as a nonprofit in the State of Arizona.
The Freecycle Network is a private, nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Arizona. Our application for federal nonprofit status — what’s known as a 501(c)3 ruling — was approved in November, 2006 by the IRS. This means that any donations made to The Freecycle Network are tax deductible retroactively stretching back to our original application date in July of 2004.
The ‘Freecycle™’ name is a registered trademark in the European Union (R) and is a trademark in the United States and Canada, or ‘TM.’ When the mark has been registered by the USPTO as well, this TM will also become an R, for registered.
The third one is The Sharehood.
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thesharehood
The Sharehood aims to build joyful, sustainable and resilient communities by encouraging people to get to know their neighbours and share with them. We imagine a world of vibrant local communities where people share to meet their needs and help others do the same.
We want to contribute to active, inclusive and environmentally sustainable communities where resources are shared locally. This will means less production, less consumption and less transportation – all of which are good for the environment.
The Sharehood Collective
The Sharehood is run by a collective of volunteers although we employ a project worker for a few hours per week to manage grants and do correspondence. The collective meets monthly and anyone is welcome to come along and get involved.
We hope to change the way people interact with each other and we’re only just beginning to do that. Please get in touch if you want to have a chat, or if you’d like to get involved. Feedback, constructive criticism and suggestions are always welcome. The Sharehood is here to be shaped by its community.
We have also regularly been featured in the media.
The Sharehood began in September 2008 in Northcote, an inner north suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Theo Kitchener delivered a letter inviting 250 of his neighbours to create a local community and share household goods, skillshare with each other, and get to know one another. Theo then developed the beginnings of this website. Since then, we have grown into a small collective and have become an incorporated not-for-profit association.
We are working on redesigning the site, and are constantly adding to and updating content and programming new features. We’re learning more about community development by consulting with those in existing hoods and community development workers and putting together resources on the site about ways we can help communities grow.
There are now over twenty ‘hoods’ operating mainly in Melbourne, but also around Australia and the world. The Sharehood is going global and if you’re interested in helping spread the Sharehood in your city or region please let us know as we want to get regional groups started everywhere and anywhere.
A big thanks goes to all those who have helped us get to where we are!
Sharing locally is a great way to meet your neighbours, save money, and help the environment. If you need to know more please read on…
Share…to save money
Sharing things with people in your neighbourhood means you don’t spend as much money. Most of us own stuff that we haven’t used in years. Do you have a shed full of things you use perhaps only a few times each year? Many of these things take up a lot of space so people in small dwellings simply don’t have room for them, and low income people can’t afford them. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get what we needed by borrowing and lending things within our neighbourhoods?
Share… to go Green
Sharing things with people reduces waste and excess items ending up in landfill. Sharing skills such as composting, seed saving, baking or making jam not only saves you money, it helps the environment too. Some Sharehoods have started community gardens in their neighbourhoods. Growing your own fruit and vegetables saves money and helps the environment by reducing the pollution associated with transportation and packaging of conventional produce.
Share..to meet your neighbours
Perhaps the best reason for sharing is to meet other people in your local area. This builds trust and that warm feeing you get when you walk down the street and people say hello. It also reduces social isolation and makes for safer streets. When you meet your neighbours with the Sharehood you immediately have a common interest – a belief in the value of sharing things!
All sorts of things can be shared!
Household objects and garden implements and tools can be shared, such as sewing machines, books and films, your power drill, or that handy ladder. Excess garden produce, baked goods, baby clothes and other excess or outgrown items can all be passed on to someone else. You could even share your entire home, like with these folks at (Knok).
But not only “stuff” can be shared – skills are meant to be shared also! Gardening skills, computers, learning languages, the tango, help with accountancy, childminding and the million other things we can do could be shared, while strengthening our communities at the same time.
Once you’ve joined the site (join here if you haven’t already) you will see people who have also joined, in order of proximity to your place. To get more people involved, the first thing to do is to drop welcome letters to your neighbour’s houses inviting them to get involved.
We have a draft letter which has been used with success in plenty of communities so far. Cut and paste the letter, and modify it, or write your own, to suit your hood. We suggest you leaflet all of the houses within a 5 minute walk of your house. If you recruit a friend or neighbour, it won’t take too long.
A good way to kick off a hood is to organise a meeting or a social event to bring everyone together. There are other examples of other groups doing similar things which may give you some ideas – such as (eat with me.net).
At the first dinner or meeting, it’s nice to do a round of introductions, with people talking about what motivated them to come along, what they want to get out of it, and ideas they have and what they have to offer.
To let everyone know about your event, add it on the Sharehood community noticeboard. The website sends email notifications of the latest content, so every hoodster within five minutes walk of your place will find out about it.
Most of the work involved in starting a Sharehood community is around people getting to know each other. More ideas for social events.
Here are some tips to get the word out:
- Run regular social events such as BBQs, picnics or swaps. The more often you run events, the more people will talk with one another about what you’re doing.
- When you organise an event, make a flyer and attach it to the event posting on the website. Ask members of the hood to tell their neighbours and drop the flyer in the letterboxes near them.
- Find a public spot in your area, such as the window of a local shop, to put up a poster or noticeboard promoting your sharehood with updates on upcoming activities.
- Leave some information about your hood at your closest library, or community/neighbourhood house (if there is one).
- Get an article in the local newspaper, or do an interview on your local radio station. More info on this here.
- Take a friend and go door-knocking in your hood. We’ve gotten feedback that plenty of people who receive the letter think its a great idea and plan to write back or join but just leave the letter on the fridge instead.
- When you meet a neighbour for the first time, let them know about what you and your Sharehood are up to.
- If there’s a housing co-op, or a transition town group, or any other kind of similar organisation in your area, approach them to promote your Sharehood directly to their members.
- Print a listing of shareables available through your Sharehood community (without names or contact details), and advertise it on your noticeboard or in another letterdrop.
The Sharehood has started a complementary currency called Samaras to help facilitate local exchanges. You don’t ever have to use Samaras, but they’re there in case you want to. Some people may feel strange about taking something directly without payment of any kind; he currency allows for indirect barter to occur.
Samaras could help to create a vibrant local economy, which means more engagement with people you know and a focus on local products and services.