I’m offering some ideas for local change that will benefit our community and our collective economy.
• Local produce: Even though an apple from your local health food store is organic, have you ever considered where it came from? How about those eggs that say cage-free? Most often these products are being shipped from many states away—defeating the purpose, wouldn’t you say? Pumping money and gratitude towards our local farmers is the surest way to long-term sustainability. The more resources they have, the healthier we will all be in the long run.
Whole Foods and other major health food stores often practice the same tactics as Big Agra. Farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture are great solutions and fun! Find Asheville CSAs here: www.buyappalachian.org/csa.
• Local Currency: There was a prosperous time from 1000 to 1200 when humans operated on two types of currency—local currency and trade/foreign currency. That was replaced with one centralized currency, and 25 years later the great plagues began. This isn’t coincidence. Instead of favoring large, centralized corporations, local currencies favor businesses and community members who own them. Asheville has a very cool form of local currency that is based more on trade and credits. Info: www.ashevillelets.org.
• Community: Isolation and individualism is a major part of the problem, fabricated in our society to make us unhappy and therefore [greater] consumers. There are many things we can do to bring back community service benefiting the present and future. If you have time to write blogs and watch TV, then you have time to volunteer once a week at the local school.
Education is the long-term solution to a lot of complications. Local schools in North Carolina are in serious need of after-school volunteers. You can be part of the equation that makes one person’s future brighter. Programs like Ashevillage (ashevillage.org) do community projects and/or workshops—also a great way of giving back.
We don’t have to continue living on this corporatist landscape. This doesn’t just mean go and protest for a day, because this would be denying our responsibility in the whole matter.
And for the youth, I’m a 23-year-old female with no college education. There are no excuses.
— Janine Saunders