04 June 2011

LETS Birmingham

Local Energy Transfer Systems (LETS) are localized trade systems that occur outside the mainstream economy.  They grow from communities seeking to meet their material needs in a truly equal market exchange based on labor-produced credits rather than money.  LETS users trade local units of value for goods and labor/services.  A LETS credit's value is determined by the community of people participating in the system.  LETS systems will change and grow as the community of users grows - essentially it is a biomimicking economic system.  Research on existing LETS has demonstrated that the system works alongside the mainstream economy and actually increases the value of the dollar.  However, I am optimistic that LETS has the potential to serve as a bridge between 'islands of sustainability' in the future.

We are now trying to get a LETS rolling here in Birmingham.  Zach and Robyn got the facebook page going and we all completed the first round of proselytizing - via 80 or so flyers - this morning at Pepper Place (trial by fire suits us all just fine).  The response was pretty positive - people were actually reading the flyers as they headed for the sponsored drum circle!

For more information on how a LETS works and to participate in how our local system develops, visit the Birmingham LETS facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_133164623426645.  

[[click for articles on LETS in Australia and the UK, a book on LETS and *buzzwrrd* sustainable development, and LETS FAQs]]