Image credit: Watershed Management Group
As I argued in my post on why masturbation is an economic act, human beings have countless non-monetary ways to facilitate trade and build true wealth for themselves and their communities. From Portland's tool libraries to crop mob-style volunteer farm labor, there's no need to wait on the financial markets to start rebuilding the real economy. Here's a neat video about a group of Tucson residents who spend their days installing rainwater catchment and gray water systems on each others' homes. The barn raising has returned...
Much like permablitz garden work parties, the idea behind the Watershed Management Group co-op is to harness community energy to install water-saving or watershed protection projects on each others homes.
While each homeowner could, most likely, struggle through and install their own DIY water projects on their own homes and/or pay someone to do it, getting together with neighbors ensures that a) everybody can share their expertise or tools, b) the costs are reduced, and c) everybody has fun doing it. It also provides a certain amount of peer pressure/encouragement to actually get a project done, rather than sit around thinking about it.
Home owners pay for the materials, and the project coordinator assesses viability, but then it's down to pure people power and a little logistical organization to make things work.
The good news is that the model is already spreading to other communities. This is the Plenitude Economy at work.
More on the Plenitude Economy
Plenitude Economics: Work Less, Play More, and Stop Screwing the Planet (video)
Why Masturbation is an Economic Act
How Portland's Tool Libraries Build Community (Video)
From Facebook to Farm Hand: Crop Mob Hits a Vineyard (Video)