Community Currencies and Happiness

Community Currencies and Happiness

Posted 30 May 2011, by Kuo Li-chuan, Taiwan News,

The permaculture concept includes the use of local currencies. Ithaca, New York, for example, introduced its own local currency in the 1970s.

A local currency, (also called “community currency”) is printed and issued at the local level, and can be used to purchase goods and services. The underlying spirit, however, is very different.

The Garden City community in New Taipei City’s Xindian District began issuing a community currency on May 20, 2008 at the suggestion of resident Lai Jiren, an active participant in community affairs. They call it “flower money,” and the idea is for people to help each other through activities supported by use of the currency. The organization running the scheme calls itself the Flower Money Club (hua qian bang), a pun with a second meaning: “spend money to help.”

Upon joining the club, each member receives 200 basic spending points. To spend the flower money, the parties to a transaction need to agree on how to deliver payment. They are not subject to the expectations, practices, or prices of mainstream society.

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