Alternative trading systems

The modern economy excludes many from prosperity, and enslaves many more with huge burdens of debt. Alternative trading systems allow alternative means of access to local markets and economic systems, and to create a sustainable local economy.

In this category...

food swapping round a table full of produce

Barter markets

Barter markets are swap meets which work without any monetary exchange.

Gift economy

A gift economy is an economy based on giving in the context of relationship rather than making transactions for profit or personal material gain.

Local currencies

A local currency is a currency which exists only in a small local area.

Local exchange trading systems

Local exchange trading systems (LETS) are similar to time banks but differ in the way they are rewarded. Instead of simply earning credit hours for their contribution, LETS members earn units of a named currency, such as 'bobbins' or 'nuts'.

Open access resources

An open access resource is an online source of information for which no charge is made.

Offer, time swap, giving, skill share

Time banks

Time banks are a form of local currency. They use hours as the medium of exchange rather than money.


WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Volunteers offer their time and labour in exchange for food, accommodation and training on an organic farm or garden.