Sharing Resources to Build Community

Reviewed Feb 18, 2020

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Summary

Start a cooking, babysitting, or home repair co-op—you’ll do good for the environment, save time and money, and build community. Here’s how.

In some neighborhoods, residents come together in many ways to build connections and conserve resources. By sharing meals, child care, and home projects, they gain solid connections with their neighbors while saving time and money.

For example, residents may share meals two to three times a week. Residents also care for each other through coordination of school schedules for working parents. One neighborhood parent is assigned a day of the week to get all school kids on the bus; another meets at the bus stop at day-end and cares for the kids until parents return from work. 

What if you don’t live in a setting that provides for a close-knit, shared community? Create your own. Not only do these types of activities build connections—they’re also likely to reduce expenses, help the environment, and enable you to enjoy more family time. 

Cooking co-ops

Busy families shouldn’t have to sacrifice healthy meals. But how can one make time to prepare nutritious dinners? By sharing the workload.

One common format for cooking co-ops involves each member cooking one meal for multiple families. They keep one portion for their own family, and then divvy the rest among other families.

Ready to reduce your time in the kitchen by starting a cooking co-op? Here are some tips from Green America:

  • Choose families with whom it will be easy to drop off or pick up the food.
  • Share cooking with families of similar sizes to make portioning easier.
  • Find people with similar food tastes and practices.
  • Be clear about what is expected from each person when it is his turn to cook.
  • Package foods in containers that can be frozen, reheated, and reused.

Babysitting co-ops

For parents with young kids, it can be hard to find time to go out as a couple. Not only are you juggling schedules, there are also finances to consider. Paying a sitter on top of the cost of dinner and a movie can make it an expensive night.

The good news is that there are often other parents in the same boat. A babysitting co-op makes “date night” easier, and the kids enjoy time with other children and families.

Most co-ops start with four families. Consider, however, that more participants increase the likelihood that someone is always available. Be sure to have regular co-op meetings to discuss any concerns.

Home repair groups

Remember the saying that many hands make light work? That’s especially so when it comes to home improvement projects. Consider that it might take you—by yourself—several weekends to build a new outdoor deck. With the help of four to six neighbors, you might get it done in a weekend.

So don’t keep putting off that paint job or drywall project. Enlist some help! Here are some tips from Green America on building a team to complete home projects:

  • Plan to meet one weekend day each month to do a project. Meeting less often may reduce motivation; more frequent activity may scare off those with hectic schedules.
  • Decide how you will take turns. Rotate through, or, if the group is comfortable with it, just move on to the projects people are ready for.
  • Keep it simple. Focus on projects that can be completed in a day.
  • Share tools. Send an email with a list of tools that will be needed, so you’ll have what you need for the day’s project. 

 

By Judy Galliher
Source: The Cohousing Association of the United States, Green America

Summary

Start a cooking, babysitting, or home repair co-op—you’ll do good for the environment, save time and money, and build community. Here’s how.

In some neighborhoods, residents come together in many ways to build connections and conserve resources. By sharing meals, child care, and home projects, they gain solid connections with their neighbors while saving time and money.

For example, residents may share meals two to three times a week. Residents also care for each other through coordination of school schedules for working parents. One neighborhood parent is assigned a day of the week to get all school kids on the bus; another meets at the bus stop at day-end and cares for the kids until parents return from work. 

What if you don’t live in a setting that provides for a close-knit, shared community? Create your own. Not only do these types of activities build connections—they’re also likely to reduce expenses, help the environment, and enable you to enjoy more family time. 

Cooking co-ops

Busy families shouldn’t have to sacrifice healthy meals. But how can one make time to prepare nutritious dinners? By sharing the workload.

One common format for cooking co-ops involves each member cooking one meal for multiple families. They keep one portion for their own family, and then divvy the rest among other families.

Ready to reduce your time in the kitchen by starting a cooking co-op? Here are some tips from Green America:

  • Choose families with whom it will be easy to drop off or pick up the food.
  • Share cooking with families of similar sizes to make portioning easier.
  • Find people with similar food tastes and practices.
  • Be clear about what is expected from each person when it is his turn to cook.
  • Package foods in containers that can be frozen, reheated, and reused.

Babysitting co-ops

For parents with young kids, it can be hard to find time to go out as a couple. Not only are you juggling schedules, there are also finances to consider. Paying a sitter on top of the cost of dinner and a movie can make it an expensive night.

The good news is that there are often other parents in the same boat. A babysitting co-op makes “date night” easier, and the kids enjoy time with other children and families.

Most co-ops start with four families. Consider, however, that more participants increase the likelihood that someone is always available. Be sure to have regular co-op meetings to discuss any concerns.

Home repair groups

Remember the saying that many hands make light work? That’s especially so when it comes to home improvement projects. Consider that it might take you—by yourself—several weekends to build a new outdoor deck. With the help of four to six neighbors, you might get it done in a weekend.

So don’t keep putting off that paint job or drywall project. Enlist some help! Here are some tips from Green America on building a team to complete home projects:

  • Plan to meet one weekend day each month to do a project. Meeting less often may reduce motivation; more frequent activity may scare off those with hectic schedules.
  • Decide how you will take turns. Rotate through, or, if the group is comfortable with it, just move on to the projects people are ready for.
  • Keep it simple. Focus on projects that can be completed in a day.
  • Share tools. Send an email with a list of tools that will be needed, so you’ll have what you need for the day’s project. 

 

By Judy Galliher
Source: The Cohousing Association of the United States, Green America

Summary

Start a cooking, babysitting, or home repair co-op—you’ll do good for the environment, save time and money, and build community. Here’s how.

In some neighborhoods, residents come together in many ways to build connections and conserve resources. By sharing meals, child care, and home projects, they gain solid connections with their neighbors while saving time and money.

For example, residents may share meals two to three times a week. Residents also care for each other through coordination of school schedules for working parents. One neighborhood parent is assigned a day of the week to get all school kids on the bus; another meets at the bus stop at day-end and cares for the kids until parents return from work. 

What if you don’t live in a setting that provides for a close-knit, shared community? Create your own. Not only do these types of activities build connections—they’re also likely to reduce expenses, help the environment, and enable you to enjoy more family time. 

Cooking co-ops

Busy families shouldn’t have to sacrifice healthy meals. But how can one make time to prepare nutritious dinners? By sharing the workload.

One common format for cooking co-ops involves each member cooking one meal for multiple families. They keep one portion for their own family, and then divvy the rest among other families.

Ready to reduce your time in the kitchen by starting a cooking co-op? Here are some tips from Green America:

  • Choose families with whom it will be easy to drop off or pick up the food.
  • Share cooking with families of similar sizes to make portioning easier.
  • Find people with similar food tastes and practices.
  • Be clear about what is expected from each person when it is his turn to cook.
  • Package foods in containers that can be frozen, reheated, and reused.

Babysitting co-ops

For parents with young kids, it can be hard to find time to go out as a couple. Not only are you juggling schedules, there are also finances to consider. Paying a sitter on top of the cost of dinner and a movie can make it an expensive night.

The good news is that there are often other parents in the same boat. A babysitting co-op makes “date night” easier, and the kids enjoy time with other children and families.

Most co-ops start with four families. Consider, however, that more participants increase the likelihood that someone is always available. Be sure to have regular co-op meetings to discuss any concerns.

Home repair groups

Remember the saying that many hands make light work? That’s especially so when it comes to home improvement projects. Consider that it might take you—by yourself—several weekends to build a new outdoor deck. With the help of four to six neighbors, you might get it done in a weekend.

So don’t keep putting off that paint job or drywall project. Enlist some help! Here are some tips from Green America on building a team to complete home projects:

  • Plan to meet one weekend day each month to do a project. Meeting less often may reduce motivation; more frequent activity may scare off those with hectic schedules.
  • Decide how you will take turns. Rotate through, or, if the group is comfortable with it, just move on to the projects people are ready for.
  • Keep it simple. Focus on projects that can be completed in a day.
  • Share tools. Send an email with a list of tools that will be needed, so you’ll have what you need for the day’s project. 

 

By Judy Galliher
Source: The Cohousing Association of the United States, Green America

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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