WWF France (World Wide Fund for Nature) and GoodPlanet (a non-profit organization created by Yann Arthus Bertrand)have set up a LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) for their coworkers and volunteers in order to promote a new Art of Living Together, more solidarity and environmentally friendly.
Two to four times a year, several employees of the WWF organize “sessions of clothes barter”. TAOA has suggested WWF to expand this initiative by launching a LETS and a currency of its own.
How is a LETS different from bartering?
Bartering means that two people exchange at the same moment two things that they accept to value more or less the same. Bartering works by “one to one”. If X wants to acquire a DVD from Y, X needs to offer something, of equivalent worth that interests Y. Otherwise, the exchange cannot take place.
Whereas LETS means that the exchange unit allows interchanging services, knowledge and learning, goods of different worth between different individuals at different moments.
In a LETS, when you receive a book or help to repaint your apartment (you do not pay with dollars), you exchange with a member to whom you give count units, which he will be able to use, when he or she wishes to acquire whatever he or she will have chosen in another exchange.
In this manner, thanks to the LETS, the WWF teams will be able to exchange all types of products (clothes, books, DVDs …), but also all kind s of services (cooking classes, car rental for the week-end, animal care over the holidays …).
« The LETS gives us a new opportunity to express our spirit of solidarity and mutual help, by inviting us to reduce our ecological footprint and valuing products in second life” Serge Orru, General Manager of WWF France.
After a two-months preparation with the coordination team of the LETS (employees of WWF and GoodPlanet), TAOA presented on September 28th 2010 this new community project to all the employees of the two NGOs. After this meeting, everyone committed themselves to participate und thus the LETS was officially launched! This is a pioneer experience and we invite you to follow its progress closely …
Carole Balducci, LETS coordinator by WWF France (Project coordinator for general administration)