Local Economy

DC Drama. I keep hearing something new, every day it seems recently of the shenanigans going on in our country. First thing that really caught my attention was the defunding of SNAP program (aka taking food from the people who need it) which I felt was a good reason to talk about starting a garden asap, of course I kind of always feel like that is a good idea. Then it was the healthcare. While I have a lot of complaints, ideas and problems I’ve dealt with related to healthcare/insurance, I think that everyone having health insurance is a VERY GOOD THING. In fact I think it makes a little more sense than everyone having car insurance, but then that is too much of a tangent to explore fully.

But these last few days, the woman with the baby driving through barricades? The man at the National Mall killing himself by setting himself on fire? This is getting crazy. I feel so bad for these two people who felt that they had to sacrifice themselves for whatever the ’cause’ they were fighting for was. I am happy the baby is alive and hope is being raised in a loving stable as can be environment.

With our National infrastructure so stressed and some might say failing, I feel the need to get involved in promoting the value of local economy. There are so many ways to help make sure that your community can survive if not thrive through this drama. We can of course shop locally. Shopping locally is something that makes a big impact. It supports local jobs, families, and also creates a bond between us and our neighbors when we are actively and consciously participating in the cycle of funds and resources.

There are also a lot of ways to do this fortunately. In many areas/towns even small cities there is RelyLocal sites popping up for example. These sites, along with Zaarly, and you could say Groupon, Living Social, and Amazon as well, are putting a lot of effort into promoting local business. It is of course easier to go to a Target, Safeway, or any number of other big stores that are so ‘affordable’ but what we don’t see is that we are giving our community money away when this is our source for what we need.

We can buy food from local farmers, either at a local farmers market, or through a CSA, often CSA’s will deliver the food right to our house, why would we not want such convenience! We also get the feel good feeling of knowing we are supporting local farms, and we can KNOW the people growing our food and choose someone who is growing to our standards be it non-GMO, organic, free-roam, grass-fed etc. We can also get a LOT healthier doing this, because if you notice, there isn’t so much boxed food at the farmers market…in fact is there any? I think this is a very good thing because if you look at that list of ingredients….they might not all cause disease but personally I’d rather not eat something that came out of a lab to trick my body into thinking it is delicious and so “good” for me.

Now, that’s just food. There’s also local places like Goodwill that are training people who need it the job skills they need to thrive. Have you noticed that a huge number of the clothes that they have for sale, that are of course used, are in fabulous condition? Most of my favorite clothes, shoes, coats, etc. are all from Goodwill, and despite some of them being name brand sometimes, I do feel like the money I spent went to local organizations, training, and people locally who need it. Plus for kids clothes, it just makes sense. Our kids grow out of clothes SO FAST that it is hard for them to really wear anything out (yes of course there are exceptions!). Why not make a conscious effort to donate the cloths to a younger child of a friend or family member, or straight to the Goodwill? I consider this to be a great way to be very very actively involved in reducing the amount of trash we produce, provide the things we don’t need to people who need it, and so contributing to community at large.

There is too of course local tax help, business attorneys, handyman help, gardeners, household help, and any other service that you might find at a big company, why not hire the lady down the street who is trained and looking for more clients? Your kids know her kids and it can be win-win all the way around.

Let’s think hard about where and how we spend our money now…and still go plant a garden, if we don’t end up needing the vegetables someone else will, and the food can be donated to a local food bank or gleaning organization that will provide it.

About Kristin

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