Instead of taking this weekend off, on Friday and Saturday I will be making and donating hot soup to the customers of Bangor free-shop. In addition I will offer free recipes and tips for cooking healthy delicious food on a budget.
Why am I doing this you may ask? Well, there are many reasons one of these being that in these recession led times, the free shop movement offers individuals and communities new opportunities to come together, to explore, share ideas and develop skills that enable us to become more resourceful and resilient in this current credit crunch.
The Bangor free-shop aims to bring together information from a variety of sources to pass on to others. Subjects include housing co-ops, growing your own, corporate globalisation down to making wine and chutney. Surplus consumer goods are given away free of charge and passers-by are invited to take what they want or need.
The free shop phenomenon has grown across Europe and America as a result of societies and individuals being overloaded with consumer goods. It is a form of direct action that has grown out of the capitalist economy, where individuals have created an antidote to the current money-based economy. Here an alternative economy is created where individuals, swap, give and donate goods or services, therefore rebuilding community involvement and advocating sharing not shopping as the way forward.
“This method of free trade allows the circulation of resources amongst social networks and empowers people to use their skills and ideas, enabling Sustainable Development and bypassing exploitative corporations”.
So is this the way forward? There is certainly a growing trend for alternative ways of disposing of unwanted consumer goods. Freecycle is well established across the country and there is nothing better than getting together with a gang of friends, having a few glasses of wine and holding a swap-shop. The benefit also is that we reduce landfill and give to those that are maybe in need. I have always particpated in the ‘bartering’ economy, where goods, services or favours are swapped and I enjoy the reciprocity of such relationships.
CBS. “It’s True: Everything Free In NYC Store“. http://wcbstv.com/topstories/the.free.store.2.946340.html. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give-away_shop”
I am also hoping that I can convince my suppliers to donate some of the ingredients for my soups (carrot and coriander and pumpkin with chilli and ginger).
If anyone is interested in the idea then check out the links above or even come and donate to this alternative economy come down between 12 and 5 on Saturday even if it’s just to say hello and grab some free soup!