May 6, 2020

Localism: Keeping It Closer To Home

There is nothing better than a big box full of local food.

Even when we do get out of our homes, our lives will probably be conducted closer to those homes. Many will like it, especially local merchants.

It may seem strange, but everyone used to live more locally before someone figured out how to make a profit by convincing people that life was better somewhere else, even if it was just for a weekend. 

Now we are localizing again, for a variety of reasons. Mostly because expanding our experience did not expand our happiness like they said it would. It is all becoming a great big hassle this trying to "keep up". Many are finding the Good Life to be exhausting.

People will travel and buy stuff from far away when it is easy, but will they do the same when it is harder and more expensive?

Besides, downsizing our experience is what will be required to face down all the other crises that face us after the immediate one is over. As Jim Kunstler said recently, "Big itself is on its way out". 

Conditions will be smaller, more local, and with a focus on strengthening communities in order to face the next challenge more successfully together.

Overall I advocate for buying less in any circumstance. But the exchange of goods is a reality, and most of us must buy. Why not buy those things you need from a local source that in turn builds security and resilience?

The following is from a website on localism
Our actions matter, and we have the freedom to vote with our wallets. Here are our top seven reasons to patronize local businesses: 

Buying locally strengthens communities. Local purchases keep the wealth in our neighborhoods, increasing the prosperity for the people around us instead of going to a far-away corporation. 
Buying locally reduces the fuel necessary to acquire goods for our homes, businesses, and bellies. Why buy food that travels thousands of “food miles” if we can buy fresh, local produce here? 
Buying locally demonstrates community pride. By patronizing a local hardware store instead of a big box alternative, we contribute to helping a local business stay in business in today’s challenging economic climate. Customer service is more personalized, and we get to see the same familiar faces each time we visit. 
Buying locally gets us out of the house or office and outside onto the street where we interact, connect and network with others who live and work around us. In doing so, we expand our own community sphere. 
Buying locally increases our knowledge of available and productive resources in our community, which could serve as a lifeline in the event of a disaster. While we like to focus on the positive, we live in a world where disasters happen. Having a strong and sustainable local infrastructure and food network is not just smart. It’s essential. 
Buying locally enables us to invest directly into our local economy. By contributing to a local business we help to preserve existing local jobs and create new skilled jobs. Local businesses are also the most ardent supporters of local parks, libraries, events, and the great area amenities that make communities unique. 
Buying locally builds trust and positivity, opens minds and hearts, and makes us more independent as a community. A more connected community is safer, more resilient and self-reliant in times of uncertainty.

Localism offers an alternative way forward in which we are in charge, not investors on Wall Street.

Now that globalism has crashed, the time is ripe for localism to take over. We will take it from here, thank you very much.

Forward together!


  1. I can only agree. I have benefited so much from my 'enforced lockdown at home. I have made friends with neighbours I hardly knew, spent time repairing and refurbishing my home, engaging with local small shops and making peace with this moment in time. Of course I will look forward to being able to travel but i have learnt to look closer to home for my walks and leisure time. The lack of traffic through my village has resulted in more garden birds visiting. JOY!
    I wish it would stay this way but I fear that too many people want to gallop back to the consumer madness of pre lockdown. Regards Sally. England

    1. I get the feeling that a significant number of people are liking the lockdown life better than their previous busy lives. Hopefully forced simplicity will blossom into the voluntary variety like never before.

      How joyful for you to find "peace with this moment in time". Beautiful!

  2. Hoping that this trend towards localism sticks long after The Great Pause is over. It seems in my town many are trying to get more local. I know lots of folks who have refused to get food from a fast food joint and instead are getting carry out meals from the local restaurants. A local craft shop has been posting there wares on facebook then meeting up in a local parking lot to deliver, all while keeping social distance. My hope is that the many local farm stalls will see a big boon this Summer. All of it gives me hope!

    1. Silver linings everywhere, if only we take the time to acknowledge them. You are seeing them, and others must, too. It will be an interesting summer of opportunity.

  3. Beautiful. I grew up in NYC in 70's when there was still a lot of old time mom & pop shops. Now, nothing but either corporate crap or what I like to call "expensive for no reason" stores & restaurants. Hope this lockdown makes them realize how so wrong they were about what true quality of life means. We will look back on this time as a gift.

    1. That sounds very vibrant, diverse, and exciting. Those simpler days may return, along with the higher quality of life.


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