The phrase “going local” has sprung and we have been exposed to all sorts of creative inventions and shopping destinations. But, has it made a difference? According to the organization, Local First, yes it has. A pretty obvious assumption: employ and produce locally and consumers support you. A win-win for all. Local First, although based in Michigan, is a good example of how it is working in so many other communities as well. And as for the why, this article in Radius does a great job outlining the trend and its implications.
I remember back in the early 1990’s when the 12 step recovery moment really took off. An interesting concept given that one of the core values is anonymity. But the work around came in the form of discussing the diseases, symptoms , and cures in books, brochures, off brand groups, conferences and a host of other opportunities to heal thyself. Now some twenty five or so years later the groups are still going strong (depending on your viewpoint), but the push has not been the same for the market of emotional self discovery through 12 step work. It has shifted somewhat to an overall sense of well being and doing good for those around you by raising your consciousness.
Does this mean the self help interest was any less sincere? Doubtful. Reducing stress, loving yourself and others more fully and yet somehow managing to give back aren’t bad first world problems to tackle. And now with the infusion of local markets to feed this desire, the interest is boundless.
And there is so much good happening in the world on a local level. It doesn’t take much of a watchful eye to see someone extend a hand or lend some hope. Then why all the disservice to its existence? I guess the outpouring of example is as available to they eye as the resources themselves. Tucked away in pockets of culture, the local movement pushes beyond the envelope of mass consumption to divulge its rich content. Sometimes the push is louder as with self help discovery that morphed into an epic movement, but sometimes it’s as simple a gesture as the featured image.
Courageous Bakery grown out of a desire to help heal the wounds of cancer and extend the favor to those around them; the individual collective striving to make sense of its landscape and all the while brightening the landscape of others. (Not to mention they are the home base for the delicious cupcakes for courage).
Love, hope, perseverance…blehck! Give us witty cynicism, snark and plain mean, straight up. Maybe that’s the yang to the yin of it all. It’s the fretting over every day efforts to sustain ourselves and our families that we wash down with the sting of satire. The release comes in the form of a good dose of mean stream; a way to temper the worries that what we are doing and how we are doing it, won’t quite defeat the overwhelming arch of the big bad – mass consumption and a mass disruption of our inner workings.
Whatever your take, it’s the give of it all that makes you who you are, and that just may be a stream worth wading through.
For a listing of local farms and markets in your area, you can visit Local Harvest. And if you are looking for an additional resource to help locate businesses in your area, local.com is a good jumping off point.