When I was in High School there was a saying, ‘Think Globally. Act Locally.‘ The saying came about because people, specifically doers of good works, were overwhelmed among a sea of global issues.
To increase effectiveness and move a new generation to action, the saying was a reminder to start first with issues we see out our front door.
View From the Front Porch
At your job, in the neighborhood, perhaps even in your home, over the past decade you have likely noticed the increase of:
* Market consolidation, creating bigger and bigger industry giants
* People who lose their jobs all too often only find new employment that pays less, offers less benefits and fewer hours
* At work and at home there is increased caution to use capital funds to finance bigger purchases and projects
These are the hallmarks of economic contraction through conservation spending. Good news, as with all problems there is a local solution! I offer a handful of enjoyable ways Millwood citizens can start increasing regional resilience today.
Grow your own- There are few topics I love to talk about more than gardening. I am always trying to find ways to increase the yield from our yard. Gardens are beautiful, reconnect us with the nature world, and can save us money by growing our own food. This is something people who live in Millwood already know. Our community even has an incredible community garden, The Pumpkin Patch Community Garden.
Possible next steps to promote even more locally grown food are: the development of a Millwood seed library, a local veggie exchange, or Millwood based CSA.
Increase the productivity of your home- It was only a generation or two ago when the home was viewed as the family’s economic engine. Home-based businesses, renting out a room, and increasing home production of items your family uses are all ways to increase the productivity of your home.
Shop the Farmer’s Market and Local Businesses- Ventures like our Millwood Farmer’s Market need to be supported to stay viable and to attract vendors. One change my family made this year was not just going to the Farmer’s Market to window shop, or buy the occasional knick-knack and treat. This summer we went to the Farmer’s Market to get our weekly grocery shopping done. We started to buy bread, veggies, fruits, meats, and cheese from the Millwood Farmer’s Market. We made friends with the people who make our food and we can’t wait for Farmer’s Market to open again next May.
Share the toolshed- When we started gardening three seasons ago and really started to renovating our yard, I am so thankful to have neighbors with some serious tools! One of our neighbors had a Bobcat at the time, another let us borrow a trailer to make dump runs, and one of our neighbors had a dolly hand truck to move big things around.
I am so thankful to all our neighbors for letting us borrow tools that would of made no sense for us to buy for one or two projects.
‘Upcycle’ your old stuff- This year we have been purging our house of what feels like mountains of stuff. After donating and giving away a good share, I have embarked on upcycling, or repurposing, items that could have a productive new life. These upcycled items will be used as gifts or shared with neighbors who want them.