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Késako, bartering and trading?

publié le 18 août 2015 à 10:44 par Catherine Claus   [ mis à jour le·26 oct. 2015 à 09:04 par Thomas Gaudy ]
I participated in an activity organized by SOCENV (la société environmentale de Côte-des-Neiges; the environmental society of Côte-des-Neiges) for a bartering trade event (without a monetary exchange). It just so happened that the day fell on infamous "Black Friday"… What better way to start downsizing, the willful simplicity and sustainable community initiatives fighting against isolation and poverty.

Personally, I'd like to share my "rule of the year": if I don't use an object for over a year, I must decide what to do with it, while trying to apply another rule dear to me, "the three R's": Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. With these rules in mind, I collected jewelry that I no longer wear, old hats and scarves, two or three thrillers that I've read and no longer wanted to keep on my bookshelf and left to go to SOCENV's meeting.

The activity was expected to last the afternoon. I was able to trade my jewelry and winter clothing for a book, two pairs of new socks, a bike's breaks, a bag that can be attached to the back of a bike and two front and back reflectors to increase bike ride safety. We can never be too prudent when riding a bike in Montréal!

It was a new experience to barter with people with whom I wanted to make exchanges. In the end, it went quite well, we decided to count up an approximate value of our objects and we proceeded with the transaction. I had a lot of fun and at the same time happy to leave with new and useful things and to offer a new life to my things rather than throwing them out!


Over the course of the afternoon, Charles Mercier, the director of SOCENV presented an excellent presentation on the Québec Accorderies Network (réseau d'accorderies au Québec).

This wasn't the first time that I heard of a services exchange system between people who do not exchange money, but I was seduced by this particular initiative! Since 2002, there exists in Québec about a dozen such accorderie networks. They are based on a service exchange system between people and promotes cooperation.

There are three in the Montréal region: Northern Montréal, Mercier-Hochelaga-M. and Longueil. It is advised to participate in an info meeting to fully understand how it works and to be ready to fully jump into it. As a matter of fact, the system functions on sharing, mutual aid and trust!

The cherry on top of it all, this accorderie system is also available in France! I love the internet when it acts as a bridge between two willful spirits aimed at the same goal: leaving the sterile consumption system to become "Consum'actors-consum'actresses".

I encourage you to check out Québec Accorderies and Accorderies of France's website. Who knows? Maybe you will have the desire to start your own accorderie in your own region…

Thanks again to SOCENV for proposing recreational and educational activities!!

Stéphanie Akré.
Translation (french to english): Catherine Claus.