Will barter faires become the new green Wal-mart or E-Bay?
The New Barter Brigade

by Willi Paul

"Bartering is a medium in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services without a common unit of exchange (without the use of money). It can be bilateral or multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, when the currency is unstable and devalued by hyperinflation. Bartering is still common in the present, usually used within the Internet-." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barter

Bartering is the new social-economic glue we need as we build the new sustainable world economy.

• Creates a larger, value-driven community
• Redistributes, re-purposes and re-uses valuable products and services
• Teaches about the relative value of things: about our own often failed or foiled materialism and our personal and family history as consumers
• Teaches us to talk and relate to other human beings
• Often channels unwanted items to support the needs of the poor (via Good Will or Salvation Army)

Galleria? Nope. Let's get to the barter faire!

Imagine you can have almost anything you want without having to reach into your pocket for your wallet. What if hundreds of Sunday barter fairs can make this happen?

While there are many examples of online exchange sites and bartering, the barter faire is where the activism, community and value changes will be promoted and accelerated for the new green world . As the online bartering system at http://Favorpals.com improves and generates more and more traffic and members, the synergy between online bartering and the offline opportunity also increases. At http://barterfaire.org, you can find the following definitions from folks who attend these gatherings:

My definition of a barter fair is: a BE-IN. Time has passed but our tribal gatherings are still the thing. I've been in many drum circles in my life which to me are the heart of the family gathering. My first job at a fair was in Eugene in the 70s at the Eugene ren fest doing parking and security. Back then the gatherings were quite small and intimate. The spirit is still here though...you just have to listen to the beat in the wind... -Ed-I

A barter faire was created to keep us sane. It's the one place you can go back to your roots for a relaxing, peaceful weekend. Not to mention a place to meet new friends and realize what a small world we live in.. -Allison

A barter fair is a place to connect, with old and new. -destin2shine

A barter fair is our place where we can be free-spirited and carefree. It is also a great place to open your mind, body and spirit and be one with nature. -mini chris

A barter fair is a place where you can get something made by hand with heart and soul and sweat, not cheap plastic imported crap made with blood, sweat and tears. A barter fair is a place you can barter and not buy. -bearclaw

Will barter faires become the new green Wal-mart or E-Bay?

Bartering is about getting past self interest, status and ego to our common interests. Meeting with another human to find a common level of value exchange not based on capital. Keys: raising awareness about sustainability and compassionate consumerism.

Barter is a re-tread language, "green speak," where half the fun of trading an old Sears shovel for a bike tune-up is "shaking hands hello and goodbye." Bartering is best seen as a renaissance of community re-connection and re-use of goods that rescued from the land-fill. Where things often become secondary as people are once again in charge of what they are offering and need.

Two Upcoming Barter Faires:

September 18 - 20: Hope Mountain Barter Faire
Cave Junction, OR
The annual Hope Mountain Barter Faire is a benefit for the non-profit, cooperative Dome School. Our Faire is culturally expressive, brimming with creativity, exchange and fun. Bring your children and bring your elders. Come barter, trade, learn and celebrate with us. Directions, prices, and info available.

September 4 - 6: Olympia Family Barter Faire
Nature's Creation Organic Farm near Olympia, WA
A two-day event where local and regional vendors will come together in a family style gathering to barter their crafts, produce, cuisine, skills, and collections of stuff. The Olympia Family Barter Faire is being created to build community, support a local economy, provide educational opportunities through workshops and skill shares, promote the arts, and work towards local sustainability.