Ithaca’s Success Stories:

Ramsey has sold bagels for HOURS at Ithaca Bakery and bought landscaping, meals, printing, air conditioning consulting, eco-goods, eyeglasses, insulating window shades and groceries. 'Right now I’ve spent all my HOURS. To get them faster, I’ve decided to accept a Quarter HOUR (which is worth $2.50) for anything, as part purchase or $5 or more. And we’ll take them at CTB Appetisers, too.'

HOURS are a regular part of his business income: 'We count HOURS like taxable cash income and expense. There’s a separate HOUR account in the computer. HOURS we spend personally we buy with dollars.'

He adds, 'HOURS keep people in our community employed better than dollars that leave the community.

Dollars that go to large corporations do not really trickle back down, they concentrate capital, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. We see America’s inner cities becoming Third World countries as a result. What’s better about HOURS is that since you can’t bank them, you have to spend them to benefit, so you don’t get that concentration of capital.'

Alternative Technology Centre

Established in 1999 on the banks of the Rochdale Canal in Hebden Bridge the Alternative Techology Centre is an educational resource centre on all area of sustainability.

Open seven days a week to the public, there is:

  • The Green shop selling everything from solar panels to real nappies, electric bikes and solvent free paint;
  • Information in form of leaflets, books and videos;
  • Energy room demonstrating all renewable energy technologies solar water, solar PV, water and wind turbines, heat pumps, energy crops and fuel cells;
  • Plastics recycling club taking plastic from the local community and transforming it into products for sale; amd
  • Gardens demonstrating organics, compost, boldiversity, wildlife and growing in a small space.

The Alternative Techology Centre also work with the local community, school and other groups, helping people to put sustainability into practice.

Alternative means of finance were also encouraged including credit unions, LETs and Green currency. To support this the Green Shop continued to accept Green Currency until very recently and continues to be a LETs drop off point for cheques.