Goods and services can be exchanged without the need for cash!
Many Transition projects focus on "local currencies," possibly because the Totnes Pound has gained such attention. But many communities worldwide have been using another type of alternative finances: the LETS system.
A Local Economic Trading System (LETS) allows participants to get the things they need without cash. It's kind of like trading favors. Everyone has skills to offer. The idea is to figure out what you might be able to offer to the community, and gain what you need in exchange. It doesn't cost any cash to join.
Here's a great homemade video about how LETS works.
In the Westchester, del Rey, Inglewood, Culver City areas of Los Angeles, they're starting up a LETS system. They're collecting interest now, with a scheduled launch in spring 2010.
about LETS systems
about other ways local communities can share finances
Los Angeles area alternative finances:
Echo Park Time Bank
Arroyo Time Bank
Ballona LETS system