A while ago I was inspired by a post on gift economies at Glocal Christianity. I was excited because both me and the wife have been slowly expanding and practising this in our own lives and now I had found a term to frame it.
I like freedom, as you can guess by the tone of my blog and I thought I’d share with you some of the ways we express our freedom through gifting and how you can too.
- F/OSS (free and open source software) such as Linux, Firefox and OpenOffice.org.
- Freecycle. This is great for getting rid of secondhand things quick or picking up some fairly good quality second hand items when you’re on a limited budget.
- Geocaching. Whilst not strictly a gift economy (more a barter economy) it still has the principles of giving. Whenever I place a cache I personally give up ownership of the container and items since life’s too short to get hung up over an inexpensive item you place at risk.
- BookCrossing. I’ve only put one book out there so far, but I have stack of others I bought recently in a sale that I do at some point plan on getting out there.
- Creative Commons. Usually anything I put on the web I use a CC share-alike attribute. I don’t always put up an icon but the intent is there.
- Giving generally. No website for this, just traditional generosity. Giving to church, giving to friends in need. We’ve even given a car away (to my brother), this was something I never saw myself doing before.
- Giving Blood. Admittedly, I’ve only done this once, perhaps I need to be a bit less selfish and do it again when there’s next a blood drive.
Of course, there is much more than just the few examples above, there are other ways of giving we still have to explore:
- Couch Surfing. Not sure we’ll ever get round to this one but I think it’s ideal for people who are unattached and have the free time.
- OpenStreetMap. I have used OSM and have very good intentions of one day getting round to editing it to add our road which is missing.
- Random Acts of Kindness. For some reason we haven’t done much with this but it’s something I totally want to get into. I’m waiting for the right day to come along where I pay for the next person in the queue at the petrol station.. that sort of thing.