The store where money is no good

Last week I put up a post about the Willunga Community Share. Then this week I came across this great article “Birth of a FreeStore”  about the FreeStore in Media, Pennsylvania (USA). Yet another fantastic example of how people are creating beautiful human-centred alternatives to the money-based consumer culture. The following quote from the FreeStore website eloquently summarises the ethos that underpins these initiatives.

Everyone has things they can give. Everyone has needs to be met.

Our philosophy is simple. Money is not needed for everything. With some creativity, we can get many of our needs met through gift-giving, sharing, community-collaboration, and simple kindness and connection. So much of this is within our reach, but our consumer culture has led us to be dependent on money, exclusively, to get our needs met. No longer. Many creative people are establishing new ways to get our needs met in other ways, and The FreeStore is part of that new (and ultimately very old) way of doing things. Won’t you join us? “

For more on Gift Economies this short film “Sacred Economies with Charles Eisenstein” is a good starting point.


July One Planet Market Talk : Natural Burial

by Anne Wharton

Some of us who are concerned about the state of our environment have become increasingly interested in Natural Burial in recent years. For natural burial, the body is prepared without chemical preservatives and a biodegradable coffin or shroud is used. The first natural burial sites were started in the UK about 1993 and there are now over 200 sites there. The original idea of natural burial was to revegetate degraded land and restore it to its former diversity. Anything used for the burial has to be biodegradable. The body is buried at the top level only at a depth of 1.8 metres so the body has much more chance of breaking down quickly than at lower depths.

Enfield103Wirra Wonga at Enfield Cemetery is the only natural burial site in Adelaide. Wirra Wonga which is the Kaurna word for bush grave, has a 99 year lease on burial sites. Six months after the burial, a shrub or tree is planted on the grave, using plants indigenous to the adjacent Folland Park Reserve. There is no physical identification at the burial site but there is a memorial stone with the names of those buried there at the entrance.

Research tells us that on the day of a funeral, cremations have 4 times the emissions of a burial. However, in the long term, burials have a bigger footprint than cremations because of the resources needed to maintain them. For a natural burial at Wirra Wonga, this footprint would probably be a little less.

About 3 years ago I did some research on natural burial and funerals generally, including funeral companies in Adelaide. Come along to the One Planet Market this Saturday, where we will discuss these issues at our Workshop at 10.30. The Market is at Payneham Community Centre and runs from 9am – 12 Noon.

Gifting is Living: The Willunga Community Share

The sharing economy and the gift economy are growing in popularity around the world as alternative ways to trade goods and services. It is exciting to see the Willunga Veggie Swap has a new name, the Willunga Community share, and is embracing both the sharing and gifting economic models.

A number of different sharing and gifting events will be held over the coming year:

Book, DVD & CD Community Share:
Saturday 12 July (this Saturday) 9 – 12noon next to the Green Room in High street in Willunga, to be repeated on the second Saturday of every month. Even if you don’t have any books to contribute, come along and take some off our hands.

010Garden Produce Community Share:
Every Saturday 9 – 12noon next to the Green Room. If you know anyone who has difficulty affording local, chemical free fresh fruit and veggies let us know so we can further share our community surplus.

Clothing Community Share:
Saturday September 6 & Saturday December 6 from 9 – 12 noon, and then the first Saturday of every season.

Neighbourhood Community Share:
Sunday November 2
This is for all the big items that someone else might want such as furniture. You will put them out on your nature strip, then email us what you have put out and where you live and we will compile all the info and circulate it to everyone interested. We have a trailer that can be borrowed for pick ups and we are happy to deliver to those who can’t pick up themselves. Contact us if you would like to help us do this.

Gifting Circle:
Sunday August 3 from 5.30 – 8. 30pm 62 Aldinga Rd Willunga

“I am always amazed at how often, when I express a need to friends, someone has the solution.” – Jeff Simmons

A Gifting Circle is a relaxed and social way of making the most of community resources and supporting each other. The proposed Gifting Circle would include a shared meal followed by a circle where everyone shares a need or desire that might be solved at the community level. People will also share if they have any resources they would like to make available to the community. Informally after the circle, gifts can be made and offers accepted.

Children are welcome, bring food and drink to share and an RSVP is required by July 27.

If you would like to know anymore about these initiatives or would like to be involved in the Gifting Circle email  Jeff Simmons  or Wil Heidt. Also if you can help out in any capacity or have community gifting ideas the Jeff or Wil know.

  • Volunteers: If you are interested in helping out in any of these events, please let us know.
  • Gifting ideas: If you have any community gifting ideas, please let us know
  • Web Site: If you have the interest and skills to help us develop a “Gifting in the Fleurieu” website for these and other events, please contact Jeff or Wil.


Stepping Lightly on the Earth Film Festival

I went to the mini-film fest last month organised by Friends of the Earth Adelaide and Seed Freedom Food Festival. They screened several excellent short films which can be watched online:

WASTE DEEP by Sustainable Table is made in Australia and looks at the incredible amount of waste that is generated by the food system. The focus on plastic waste ties in nicely with the Plastic Free July challenge that is happening now. It also looks at several exciting initiatives that have been developed address food waste.

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