Gifts are a love language. But in the era of climate change, what are we really saying?

We need to build a truly healthy and sustainable economy, where “robust” growth is fueled not only by exchanging new stuff, but by gifts of care, gifts of service, gifts of experience and, occasionally, gifts of truly good stuff.

Appalachia’s Front Porch Network Is a Lifeline

Appalachia knows need, and knows that in times of increased struggle, need increases for all. While much of the country might fall back at this time, Appalachia has stepped up in ways both official and grassroots. “Pandemic or not,” Keller said, “we still have a job to do.”

Buy Nothing Ever…er, I Mean Day

This Black Friday we’re inviting everyone to join us and our friends at Adbusters in celebrating “Buy Nothing Day.” We’re not asking you to become a Grinch, or completely abstain from Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever form of gift giving ritual you and yours celebrate. But maybe take a pass on this most egregious day of consumeristic binging.

“The Price on Everything Is Love”: How a Detroit Community Overcomes a Lack of City Services

Three years ago, the city of Detroit named DHEO “Organization of the Year” for its role helping families recover from a fire that burned seven homes to the ground, just blocks from Ramirez’s home. Her generosity has extended beyond helping people in need.

When Buying Nothing Gives You More of Everything

In addition to the obvious economic savings, the occasional hassle of giving and getting free stuff actually has a more profound advantage: You feel the physical and mental burden of having to gift every item you no longer want in your home, and it’s an embodied lesson in the cost of consumerism that’s quite effective…

Dutch Collective Broodfonds Provides Gift-Based Health Insurance for Freelancers

Freelance workers are known to be intrepid by nature. But perhaps the bravest — and most vulnerable — among them are those who don’t have anyone to rely on for financial help, in case they become disabled or too ill to work. That problem appears to have been addressed in the Netherlands, thanks to a trio that came up with the idea for Broodfonds (English translation: Breadfunds), an alternative kind of disability insurance that can replace lost income.

Fig Nation

What took place here is an example of what I call “Fig Nation,” an informal farm economy and community based on producing, sharing, and enjoying. The concept of Fig Nation is simple: A few weeks back, my nephew and I harvested five pounds of elderberries. We cleaned, bagged, and tossed them in the freezer. Yesterday I pulled them out and combined them with water and honey to make an elderberry mead. Come winter, I’ll enjoy the mead with guests. Welcome to Fig Nation, where sharing brings pleasure and automatic membership.