We haven’t discussed local living for a while, but I believe it to be a big part of sustainability. Essentially, I believe :
- One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy locally-sourced goods.
- Supporting local businesses you believe in is of the best ways to build a like-minded community that will help support you economically, emotionally, and sustainably.
- Local economies support you, and make your neighborhood more resilient to national and international crises. (For every $1 spent in a local business, almost 70 cents remain in the local economy; for every $1 spent at a national chain store, however, around 40 cents or less remain in the local economy – Civic Economics.)
- You’re supporting local jobs, and generally you’re supporting businesses that provide a living wage.
- You can often walk, which saves money and energy on gas and helps keep you healthy.
- It’s fun to connect with real people who care about you.
I sat and thought about it for a while and realized my favorite local place is the wooden toy shop down the street. I walk past every day on my way to and home from work. On the way in the middle-aged toy maker smiles at me, and I smile back at a man who so clearly loves his work. In the evening I walk past when the toy maker has long since gone home, and I peer through the window marveling at the new toys he’s crafted. The store also sells mobiles, bags, and toys made our of different recycled materials. It’s fabulous.
But you know what? I’ve never been inside! It’s one of the most warm and cozy neighbors, but whether it’s because I’m starting a new business and expendable cash is not a luxury, or I haven’t yet found a reason, I haven’t gone in!
Tomorrow I might just make the time!