Community Exchange System

Todays post is about giving the local trading network a bit of a mention. Its a great concept, and if more people got involved who knows what could happen!

So what is it?

The Community Exchange System (CES) is a community-based exchange system that provides ways  for its users to exchange their goods and services, both locally and further a field. A global trading network that operates without money.

Say what?… No money?… uhuh.

The CES has no physical currency. So no money changes hands at all.

Around the world these systems may be called-  Community Exchange SystemsLocal Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), Mutual Credit trading systems or Time Banks.

Here where I am its called LETS. Or Local Exchange Trading Systems.

Every members time is of equal worth. One hour of time is worth 20 ‘operas’ (depends on the area is what they call the currency). Every member has an account that they set up on joining. When Jackson pays Mack 20 operas for a personal training session then it goes into the account. Jackson is -20 and Mack is +20. So Mack has just ‘created’ his own money. Which he can then use for a massage with Julia.

And so on and so forth. There is no limits. Everyone has something to offer and people always want something.

Some examples of what could be on offer.

House cleaning


Personal trainer

Kids face painting for parties



Holiday accommodation

The possibilities are really endless….

Jams, Chutneys and Granola….

New to the blogging world. I thought I might start one, just to watch my own progression on living as sustainably as possible in an urban environment.  Finding out what works for me and my family and maybe achievable by others living  in a city environment.

Last week was  a busy one. The kitchen saw a flurry of activity in a few days. From a box of unwanted pears destined for the garbage emerged 9 jars of jam. One batch Lemon & Pear, and the other Lemon, Ginger & Pear. Really tasty! One pot of Mango Chutney, using some mangoes given to us from my father in laws neighbours tree. First time I have ever made chutney, and suitably impressed at how easy it was.

Yesterday I made Granola– So super easy to make. I came across this as my husband really likes to buy the stuff. The supermarket packet ones can be quite pricey and never seem to go very far, and after looking at the ingredients- “How hard can it be?” So wanting to make it a bit (a lot) healthier than the packet ones this is what I use.

quick oats

s/r flour

coconut oil



optional extras- maple syrup, whole almonds, walnuts, desicated coconut, sultanas, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, seasame seeds, pepitas, honey. There are so many healthy and tasty flavours you can play around with. And if you really just want it to taste more like the packet stuff- just add sugar!

The trick is at the end is to add a little water and scrunch the mixture together with your hands, getting those tasty clusters together. Then whack it in the oven until toasted and golden colour (170C). Move the mixture round once while cooking, so it cooks evenly.

Its a really tasty breakfast cereal, good for a snack or even better for a present for some one.

 (Present idea– Put it in a lovely glass jar and a label.)