Local Currencies Really Can Buy Happiness
30 May 09 | IPS
In the face of an economic system which seems to be premised on environmental harm and profit-driven growth, a handful of communities across the U.S. and the globe have begun experimenting with alternative forms of local currency as a pathway to sustainability.
Local currencies existing today in the U.S. include the Humboldt Community Currency in Eureka, California; Berkshares in the Massachusetts Berkshire region; Bay Bucks in Traverse City, Michigan; Ithaca Hours in Ithaca, New York; Cascadia Hours, Corvalis Hours, and RiverHours in Oregon; Equal Dollars in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Madison Hours in Madison, Wisconsin, according to the E. F. Schumacher Society, which runs Berkshares.
Canadian community currencies are located in Calgary, Alberta; Salt Spring Island, British Columbia; Tamworth, Toronto and the Madawaska Valley, both in Ontario, which is promoting a “usury-free dollar”.
There are also community currencies in Tlaxpana, Mexico; and East Sussex and Devon, England; as well as a regional currency based in Basel, Switzerland, which can also be exchanged in parts of Germany and France.
What these currencies have in common is that they represent an effort to respond to the pressures of globalisation, like the advent of massive chain stores competing with local merchants. >>>