The World's Gerry Hadden reports that a barter system is catching on in Barcelona, Spain. People register with what's called a time bank to trade services. They might teach a language or do home repairs. The hours they work become time bank credits they can spend. Time banking saves people cash. And for many, it provides a sense of community.
http://www.theworld.org/?q=taxonomy_by_date/1/20070529Some Barcelona time links:
Federación de Mujeres Progresistas: http://www.fmujeresprogresistas.org/tiempoespacio3.htm
Los Bancos del Tiempo: http://www.cird.bcn.es/castella/bancodeltiempo/BancodelTiempo.htm
al web de bancos del tiempo en internet http://www.bancodeltiempo.org/index.php (Using Cyclos software)
The story covered the ups and downs of exchanging time. I liked the point made about
time exchanges not being a volunteer organization - the trap of people wanting to give and not receive. It was positive enough to have at least one person find Austin's local Time Exchange after hearing the report.
It's important to remember that if you aren't circulating your currency back into the community, then there are people unable to give what they want or need. Accepting work form others helps the community grow and stay active. We've demonized accepting help in much of our society, to the point where "welfare" has become a smear instead of the well meaning origin.
What's that think you've wanted to learn or needed done but never get around to?