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Barter: the second life of many of our objects

The movement that favors cooperation and reusing of materials that are no longer necessary for us has brought a revolution in traditional habits.

Gradually collaborative consumption grows, a more rational and logical use of resources. Bartering is not a new practice, but has been revived or discovered for the first time by many sectors of society, especially among the younger ones.

The key of the exchange can be summed up in one question: why throw something, increasing rubbish and pollution of the planet, if can be useful for another person?

Cooperative or exchange activities start, several years ago, to fill the Internet with pages, communities, apps and all kinds of channels.

There are different pages for contacting: Freecycle, Trueque, Quierocambiarlo, or  Etruekko .

In these pages the materials or services to be exchanged are of all kinds. Just register, browse and find the area of your interest.

Apart from this network of virtual exchange, there are also real markets in different cities, called “Flea markets”. There, the citizens interested can exchange antiques, second-hand objects. You can exchange or haggle them.

In some cities these markets have become real tourist destinations, such as the Rastro in Madrid or the French market of Saint Ouen (origin of to the name "Marché aux Puces") with more than 1 million visitors per year.

The future is specialization; specialized pages where barter on specific thematic are increasing. From houses, clothes, lodging, travel, toys, music, books to what it’s called "time banks".


The "time banks" are one of the most interesting for its originality. It is a system in which the exchange unit is not money or things, but a measure of time. That is, services are exchanged for services; one hour of work per one hour of work.

And the last mode of the increase is the bartering between companies: exchange goods between industries without the necessity of exchanging money.

Bartering has a component of cooperation, volunteerism, an ethical component. This try to provide a service or give a second use to a thing in good condition, which causes a feeling of support and collective effort to promote the sustainable growth of society.
 

Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Instituto de la Juventud de Extremadura