Ithaca HOURS
Community Currency
since 1991
    This website is maintained by the founder of Ithaca HOURS.
The official website of the Ithaca HOURS board of directors is at
 Paul Glover consults for grassroots economic development as GreenPlanners.

Get What You Need
Without Dollars

by Paul Glover       April 1995

Somewhere in Ithaca someone has what you want today, and they're willing to trade it to you for something you have or can do. Lots of local people already trade for much of what they need. They get medical and dental care, child care, fresh food, housing, clothes, recreation, house painting and repair without dollars. They live well, by paying time or goods instead. And they make new friends while doing so.

HOUR Town is more than a list of what you can buy with HOURS, it's a portrait of our community's talent. And there are thousands more things that could be on this list. Whatever you can do can be advertised here.

Even when your own skills are not impressive to you, there are people eager for your help. Things that are simple for you to do can be hard for others to get. For example, do you enjoy being a grandparent? There are plenty of kids who need your time, who'd count your time worth gold (or at least home-baked pies). Can you help with homework? Even basic know-how is a good contribution. Do you have an unused garden space? Somebody wants it, and can pay you food, or lawnmowing. Did you live in a foreign country or distant city? You can explain how to get around. Did you kick a bad habit? That's experience valuable to many of us. Do you know how to plant seeds, wash dishes, make preserves or sew? Write down your hobbies, your experiences, your equipment, tools, ambitions and interests. Remember, all over Ithaca people are trading anything you can imagine.

Finding trading partners is easier with the HOUR Town list. Most of the people who list here have at least a little swapping experience and are willing to consider your suggestions. Can you imagine most people in Ithaca listed in our Skills Phone Book? It would become easier for us to meet all our basic needs, to make new acquaintances and have fun. The more people listed in HOUR Town, the better our chances of making good trades. Call these folks up and find out if you have something they need. Introduce yourself to participating businesses, let them know you're ready to help, and that you accept HOURS, too. We've already seen some of these connections develop into regular jobs, or become apprenticeships that produce recommendations that lead to jobs.

Through HOUR Town you can arrange direct swaps, and include HOURS (and even dollars) to make your deals. Everyone is welcome to be listed by sending in the coupon on the back page. If you offer something that's not already listed, or something from the list to the right of that coupon, then you are paid two Ithaca HOURS.

HOURS are barter money that have circulated in the Ithaca area since 1991. They're worth one hour of labor, or $10.00 each. Over 1,000 people and 200 businesses have used them. They add trading power to our community, and make barter easier. More than 250 participants have told their success stories in HOUR Town.

Many of these people have said that HOURS personalize their exchanges. That means HOURS help satisfy our need to live in a friendlier world: the more people you have personal exchanges with, the more people you can trust and rely on. And we can't buy trusted friends or neighbors at the mall.

HOURS are taxable income, at $10.00 per HOUR, when used for professional trades.