Thursday, August 23, 2012
With more than 30 years experience in information technology, Seaside resident Catherine Crockett could charge upwards of $75 an hour for her services. But the computer wiz would gladly fix a neighbor’s laptop in exchange for some help pet-sitting her cat.
That’s the philosophy of a community time bank, which Crockett and other sustainability activists aim to launch in the Monterey Bay area. “The beauty of it,” she says, “is that all the work is equal.”
Instead of paper dollars, time banks use units of time as currency. Members offer their skills and earn credits, called “dollar-hours,” to spend on other services – whether it’s physical therapy, gardening, legal advice or cooking. Time banks are already in the works in Portland and Santa Cruz.
Crockett attended an Aug. 9 meeting where participants took inspiration from the PBS film Fixing the Future, which screened at Osio Cinemas July 18. The documentary profiles pioneers of sustainable economic models like worker-owned cooperatives, community-based investment and time banks.
The next steps in starting a local time bank, she says, include picking a name, doing public outreach and raising some seed money.
Crockett’s on the steering committee for Sustainable Seaside, which plans to pitch the concept to its members in October.
“The idea is helping your neighbors,” she says. “This may create that sense of community that’s missing.”
The next time-bank meeting is Friday, Aug. 24, from 6-9pm at 157 7th St., Pacific Grove. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.