Buy Local First - A thriving local economy can be achieved by raising awareness about the benefits of buying local, by developing Local Buying Guides, or coupon books that identify independent local businesses and offer incentives for people to patronize them. Follow the title link to learn more on the various options out there.
For centuries the global economy has been linear. Companies extract resources from the environment, turn them into products and sell them to consumers – who eventually throw them out. As a result we are burning through Earth's natural resources and wasting useful materials.
But it doesn't have to be that way, says Felix Preston of think tank Chatham House in London. Instead, we could have a circular economy in which waste from one product is used in another.
the economies of
being environmentally conscious
An ongoing PBS series about the economies of being environmentally conscious. From energy consumption to design efficiency, policy to industry, the series documents the innovators whose work is reducing humans' impact on the environment.
There's been an explosion of collaborative consumption -- web-powered sharing of cars, apartments, skills. Rachel Botsman explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls "reputation capital."
_Center for a New American Dream
Telling a new American story that showcases new pathways and positive visions that promote a more socially and ecologically balanced society. Seek to change social norms around consumption and consumerism and to support the local movement of individuals and communities pursuing lifestyle and community action.
New Dream's Collaborative Communities program strives to inspire, connect, support, and equip community members to create local initiatives that build community capacity and social ties, increase ecological sustainability, and foster greater livability and economic vitality.
Check out practical tools and how-to guides for your community in the New Dream Community Action Kit.
Open Source Ecology founder Dr. Marcin Jakubowski and the OSE team explain the philosophy behind their work. www.opensourceecology.org
Community Sourced Capital started after a year of researching sustainable finance, focusing on a single question: what if financial systems were designed to strengthen communities? This company has grown from an idea to a robust community lending system. It has expanded outside the Pacific Northwest, attracting investors who want to help the business grow, and recruiting talented team members with diverse backgrounds. The company is run with experience in small business management, socially-responsible investing, web technology, grassroots marketing and fundraising.
Community Sourced Capital visits the small business they finance directly on a weekly basis, meet with innovative banking partners, and scout new communities to work with.
Health and bulk foods stores can follow the Good Food Store's example of allow customers to drop their containers into a special bin and the store will sort and sterilize them, mark them with their packaging weight, and arrange them on a shelf for other shoppers to use. Creating a sense of collaborative conservation among the customers - all for the low cost of remembering to put your recycling into a bag. For customers, you can always go to other bulk food stores get the cashier to mark the packaging’s weight (“tare” weight) which would be discounted upon checkout.
Food Swap Network
A food swap is a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Swaps allow direct trades to take place between attendees on an item-by-item basis, e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs. Swap events also include a potluck as an immediate food-sharing (and sometimes item-sampling) component. These events are a delicious way to diversify the homemade foods in your own pantry while getting to know members of your local food community.
A great way to shop without spending a dime is to host a clothing swap! No wallet needed. It's a simple and fun way to keep textile waste out of the landfill and embrace reduce, reuse and recycle fashionably!
Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) reversed decades of devastating deforestation and created a viable economic model for the future.
Between the 1950s and the late 1980s Costa Rica went from 70 percent forest cover to just 20 percent, one of the fastest deforestation rates in the world. Then the government introduced national parks. The social cost of creating national parks stopped people from converting forest to other uses without any compensation for lost livelihoods. In response René Castro suggested to pay people to protect the forest. Costa Rica made it law in 1996. This created the National Forestry Financing Fund (FONAFIFO) and defined rights to sell four key ecosystem services: protection of biodiversity, protection of water sources, landscape beauty, and carbon sequestration. PES started officially in 1997. Eco-tourism showed that you can make a living out of forests in a sustainable way. Now there is about 52 percent forest cover.
As an example of how it works, say a farmer has some forest on their property. If the property is within one of the priority areas identified by FONAFIFO, they can apply for a PES contract for simple forest protection, or reforestation, or sustainable forest management. The farmer must submit a plan put together with a qualified forest engineer. If eligible, the farmer signs a five or 10-year contract.
‘Sustainable forest management’ means identifying with the forest expert which trees can or can’t be legally cut, what route to extract timber to minimize damage to the forest, and cutting as much of the log as possible onsite so you leave mulch behind to rot naturally. Sustainable forest management pays about 60 dollars per hectare. The farmer is not going to get rich, which is why PES really helps to make it worth the effort.
For forest protection the farmer will get 64 dollars per hectare every year or 80 dollars in hydroelectric catchment areas.
For reforestation they will get 196 dollars per hectare, rising to almost 300 dollars if biodiversity is improved by planting native or threatened species.
Forest regeneration is basically abandoning land to recover naturally. In that case they will get between 40 and 60 dollars per hectare.
The government pays the biggest chunk of these services. The 1996 law set aside 3.5 percent of the fuel tax for PES. Then in 2006 a new law assigned 25 percent of water taxes to PES for protection of water sources. The economic model was to sell ecosystem services to those enjoying ecosystem services, wider society or hydroelectric companies, so they pay to protect ecosystem services.
The government money makes a huge difference. Many other countries that have been trying to do similar things fail because they can’t get the government to contribute.
"...the number 1 rule that governs most business is to make profit without consequence. That law worked for a long time; now we have the knowledge that many business practices are causing mass damage and destruction. Often there is no intent; mostly the ecocide caused is secondary to the activity undertaken. To make a business case for a law of Ecocide, three things must happen:
1. Create a level playing field for all;
2. Give an appropriate transition period and
3. Give the opportunity for industry to change on an international level..."
Resilience Circles: Small Groups for Tough Times
Resilience Circles are small groups where people come together to increase their personal security through learning, mutual aid, social action, and community support.
Is it so strange that some people don’t want to join the mainstream?