What can you grow or make at home to support your neighbours? How can you enhance our community's sustainabilty and resilience?
- Demonstrating and raising awareness about community-based solutions for mutual support;
- Fostering new social connections;
- Encouraging the development of new skills;
- Helping members of the community help one another;
- Building the community's ability to respond with resilience to social changes such as recession or financial shocks;
- Tightening feedback loops between the local environment and the economy.
The administrative and operational web site for LOAVES is found at http://loaves.org.nz.
What is LOAVES?
LOAVES is a "complentary currency," that is, a non-monetary token of exchange that can be voluntarily accepted in lieu of money. Because it is only accepted locally, trade in LOAVES can help build local connections and help keep value in the community. Because LOAVES cannot be deposited in banks or used to pay down bank loans, it can circulate more quickly than dollars and help build the community's abundance through exchange and sharing.
The primary purpose of LOAVES is to foster social education, skills building, and sharing at the household and individual levels. LOAVES is not an end in itself. It is a tool for raising local awareness and providing education about how tightly connected local communities can generate their own solutions to some of the problems associated with current global finance--including financial instability, community fragmentation and social alienation, economic injustice, and environmental degradation.
LOAVES is supported by member businesses who believe in the project's community value and are willing to help keep the project visible by accepting LOAVES for a percentage of their trade, often for 10% of the purchase price of select goods. There is no direct financial advantage for businesses to accept LOAVES rather than NZD as tax and GST remain payable. As businesses accept LOAVES, use it for local trade amongst themselves, and offer it to customers as change, LOAVES will become available for circulation amongst households as well, where individuals are encouraged to take up the potential of LOAVES by thinking creatively about how to participate in the local small economy. It is anticipated that participants will find it easier to swap skills with other community members using LOAVES rather than money
LOAVES is a practical micro-demonstration of an aspect of the standard permaculture curriculum, and it is governed by the ethics of caring for people, caring for the Earth, and social justice.
RECAP thanks PNCC for a Local Initiatives Grant which provided start-up funding for this project, including currency design, printing, and security measures.
How will LOAVES be assessed?
The impact of LOAVES on households and individuals will be assessed In keeping with its purposes of education and consciousness-raising, fostering skills building, fostering community connections, and tightening feedback loops to the local environment. Volume of trade in LOAVES and rate of circulation may be monitored but this is not a project purpose. LOAVES will be assessed through the following criteria.
- How many local residents are aware of LOAVES and its purposes?
- How many people participate in LOAVES?
- How many people credit LOAVES with the development and/or sharing of a new skill?
- How many people find that LOAVES makes it easier to meet new people?
- How many people find that LOAVES makes it easier to help others?
- How many people find that LOAVES makes it easier to ask for help?
- How do participants understand the role of LOAVES and non-money exchange in community resilience?
- What new skills have participants developed through participation in LOAVES (if any)?
- In what ways are (or are not) the goods and services participants offer sustainably produced from local resources?
- What stories do participants tell about the use of LOAVES, and what do these stories say about the educational impact of LOAVES on the understanding and values of community participants?
For further education about complementary currencies, time banks, and other non-money economies, see:
For comparison projects, see:
For links to various sources of research on complementary currencies, see:
About Davis Dollars
The LOAVES project is being developed by a Working Group governed by the RECAP board. To participate in the project in any way, contact email@example.com.