The Gift Economy: Absolutely Free - PVP33

Show Notes

This time of year I find it a bit amusing, okay a lot amusing, to watch all the ads, sales, traffic, and general frantic behavior. A store closing for Black Friday is news. Stores being open for Black Friday is news. Geez, it's all too much, can we all take a breath?

Let's just relax a bit.

All the talk of gifts makes me think of the gift economy.

What is the gift economy?

The gift economy, oversimplified, is gifting without any expectation of something in return. Don't confuse gifting with bartering or swapping or any expectation now or later of a repayment in kind.

Gee, that's nice, what's it got to do with me?

Well, it could be something to consider. Many of us have things that we are not using and are stored in garages, sheds, and storage units. What if we pass those goods on to people who will put them to good use? Some of us have time to help plant trees or teach someone something. I view it as tied to the permaculture ethic of setting limits on consumption and reproduction, and redistribution of the surplus. Must we leverage everything for cash?

What would happen if we freely gifted?

Oh gosh, what about the moochers? Well, this isn't about mooching. No one is taking anything. It's gifting. It's about actively engaging with others in the community to gift goods, services, and such for no additional cost. Yes, we need cash to pay the mortgage and keep the internet streaming. But, what about canning jars? Are there some canning jars just hanging around at a friend's house unused? What about that spare tool that you never use? What about that piece of equipment that you already upgraded? 

Would all of this gifting affect bottom lines and the cash required for goods and services? Would it improve our quality of life? Could we live more richly?



  • Special thanks to Dale, Nia, and Steph for all the love and support! 
  • Raleigh, the guy I love to hate when it comes to all things internet.
  • Aaron Glasson, Permaculture Velocity logo
  • Music: Tell Somebody by Alex Beroza featuring AdmiralBob, digccmixter, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0
  • And to all those podcasters out there sharing good information on podcasting for those of us just getting going with this podcast thing! Thank you!