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At my school, we are just about to start organizing our second annual Bring and Barter event. After the great success of the first one, we are hoping for even more happiness and learning from this one. The idea came to one of my colleagues and I after I gave her a spare tomato plant I had grown and, in return, she gave me a large jar of home-produced honey. Now, I thought that this trade was unfair as the actual monetary value of the honey was far higher than one tomato plant (even if it was in quite a big pot!) but her reasoning was that to get that one plant she would have had to buy seeds, compost, pots in several sizes and find somewhere to put them along the way. So as far as she was concerned the trade was fair.
This got us both thinking and within a month we had organized a Bring and Barter event. We invited everyone to bring ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING they wanted to trade, set up a table and then waited to see what happened. Two hours later, about 150 people of various shapes, sizes and ages left delighted with their 'bargains' and happy to leave unwanted or surplus items with other folk who wanted or needed them more. One of our colleagues who had been very dubious about the idea was amazed that he had managed to trade up a wooden spoon, value approx 50 cents (multiple swaps of course) to a jar of my mango jam, value around $5. Children had to think hard about what things were worth to them and to others and some learned the hard way when their swaps were turned down!
If you want to use the idea as a fundraiser or need to pay for a venue you could make a small charge for entry, perhaps $1-$2. It was a great way of bringing the community together and the children really got to understand the meaning of 'Fair Trade'. Best of all, there was no clearing up or disposing of unsold items as they were taken away by the participants!
By Mrs. Christmas from Slovenia, EU
This is a great way to demonstrate bartering, Fair Trade, and meeting lots of great friends. Thanks for sharing!
What a fantastic idea.Thanks for sharing.
What a great idea and I think it's unique.