LOCALtoLOCAL Why LOCAL?

Why Choose LOCAL? A Question of Ethics

Where we choose to source our food, goods and services from says a lot about the way we view the world. Here are a few reasons why people consume locally:

Quality

Small scale food, good & service providers that cater to a local audience not only know that they have a personal reputation to uphold, but sincerely want to deliver the best quality product possible. Local providers display care and commitment to artesianal quality and attention to detail that larger producers simply couldn't replicate even if they tried. When you bite into that local organic carrot or put on a locally woven and crafted jacket you can feel the attention and energy that went into producing it.

Sustainability

Sustainability and environment quality go hand in hand. Consuming locally is certainly more environmentally friendly than consuming goods imported from abroad because of less required transportation and a higher rate of traditional production methods (which are usually friendlier to the environment). Environmental benefits aren't the end of it though. What about the sustainability of your community? Export based communities generally have a high likelihood to go bust at one point or another, but supporting your area's ability to support itself means your community can make it through any kind of external economic circumstances.

Creating & Fostering Connections

Think back to the last time you were in a huge grocery or department store… Were you able to kick off a relationship with any of the employees? Could they help you feel a sense of connection to the food or goods that you were buying through telling you exactly where they came from and what sort of environment they were produced in? If you are a small business owner did you feel they are someone you could network with?

Building relationships within your community, sharing your love of food, craftsmanship and good company is such an important part of consuming locally. Feeling a connection to the land which provides everything from your lunch to your chair to the computer you're reading this on (surprise!) is extremely rewarding, and thankfully is something more and more people are beginning to appreciate once again.

Economy

Absolute Advantage, centralization, division of labour, economies of scale, foreign investment, globalization... why think so big when most of us haven't fully invested in what's most important to us, what's closest to us - our community. Even a tiny change in consumption habits can make a HUGE impact on the people around you.

Sure, we all love our bananas - and in Ontario they only come from one place: South, certainly not from anywhere within a stone's throw or within what we'd consider to be a local range of trade. But what are the consequences when, say, our local maple syrup producers export their produce elsewhere and members of our community buy maple syrup from a grocery store that has been produced in another region? Well, in economics it's called a deadweight loss, but peeling away the jargon we can just call it a waste - a waste of resources to transport it to and fro, and a waste in freshness and quality that could be found in the syrup your community members produced.

Not only does it prevent waste, it keeps resources and money within your community meaning there's more to go around for everyone. Improved standard of living and improved quality of goods you can consume; it's a win-win! Yes, at the moment it's a bit pricier to buy locally, but once a good portion of the community has made the switch it can actually lower prices AND put more money in your pocket.

SOVEREIGNTY - The ability to govern one's self.

Freedom. The holy grail. Everyone knows they want it except for those who feel they already have it. Financial freedom, freedom of expression, freedom to travel, freedom to explore, freedom to make mistakes, freedom to change, freedom to be different.

But where does freedom come from? Well, at LOCAL to LOCAL we believe it all starts from the ground up - literally - by which we mean it all starts with FOOD. Food sovereignty, the ability to produce all the food needed by your community locally provides an incredible amount of freedom, more than most people would ever imagine. Food fuels us - it gives us the energy to produce: produce homes, produce goods, produce love and produce things that go well beyond our basic needs. Food sovereignty means not needing to rely on anyone else for your basic needs - because when you rely on someone you need to play by THEIR rules out of fear that they may cut you off.

This is certainly the most important message that we at LOCAL to LOCAL can convey. Our main prerogative, decentralization, is a scary word to many but is the foundation of a free community. It doesn't mean giving up our beloved bananas, but it means taking care of our basic needs on our own first. Seasonal, local foods, homes, clothing, tools, wares - we know we can produce these on our own within our local communities, and nothing is stopping us from doing so, especially knowing it's what empowers us to be free citizens of the world.