Whenever I ponder the economic crisis (recession/coming financial apocalypse/whatever you want to call it) I come back again and again to the usefulness of local currencies and alternative forms of trading - vital tools that could help enable ordinary people like me to cope.
Just lately I've started thinking about it all a lot more, and I thought I'd blog a semi-regular diary about it. I'm calling it the 'Healthy Money Diary', after a book I read the summer before last - Healthy Money, Healthy Planet by Deirdre Kent.
(Highly recommend! A fantastic, clear explanation of the global financial system and its failings ... plus a detailed look at alternative forms of trading within communities).
I really feel right now that I want to increase my involvement with alternative forms of trading and currency.
The flames of my interest were fanned a few weeks ago when I got to meet Helen Dew at a Wairarapa craft fair. If you don't know Helen, she is a highly respected and long-time advocate of community currencies, and a board member of the Living Economies Educational Trust. My part in the conversation with her consisted mostly of a lot of vigorous head nodding.
I sat on my thoughts for a bit. Then over the past week I had a couple of other fortuitous meetings:
* I discovered that an anonymous crafter whose blog I had just started reading (thinking this person has some extremely interesting things to say) is actually someone I slightly know in real life! I was thrilled.
I have been especially thinking about this post of hers about a wool mill closure in the South Island, and the ensuing comments. It's the kind of thing that I can foresee happening increasingly often over the next few years. I don't know the answers, but I feel sure they rest at least partly with finding new ways to trade and support local small business.
* Then on the weekend I had the opportunity to meet and chat in real life with Isa - The Nourishing Revolution blogger, which was lovely. We talked about the state of the world, as you do, and yes she is just as full of insights and ideas as you would expect from her blog! I felt galvanised to act after talking with her. (And it wasn't just the two coffees).
So here I am, inspired by the things other people say, and their passion and enthusiasm, determined to try and find different ways in my own life to trade. I don't exactly know what I'm going to do next, but I'll just work away at it, and blog my thoughts as I go (maybe once a week or so).