GOALS - Local Sustainability - DRAFT

The LocalSustainability.Com pages are here to provide a common public space for the people of the Plattsburgh North Country region of New York:

*To better recognize, use and support the already amazing sustainable minded community that exists;
*To prevent that community from being replaced by externally controlled corporate and political organizations; and
*To allow a means for it to evolve into a dominate cultural force that will increasingly better meet the needs of all in its community.

The concept for LocalSustainability.Com is for the most part based on the following principles identified by Michael H. Shuman in his book, The Small-Mart Revolution (Open His Check List):

*The key to community prosperity is a vigorous network of locally owned businesses serving primarily local markets—the exact opposite of what most economic developers push.

*Despite all the popular discussion of globalization, worldwide trends (like rising oil prices) are making small, local businesses increasingly competitive.

*Jaw-dropping innovations in small business, whether for-profit or nonprofit, can be found everywhere, and provide compelling blueprints for localization.

*The principal obstacles standing in the way of localization are public policies (like business-attraction “incentives”) that are uniformly tilted against small business.

*Localization can and should appeal to right and left alike, by combining conservatives’ passion for free markets, small business, and small government with progressives’ passion for community empowerment, sustainability, and real democracy.

LocalSustainability.Com simply provides a free, common, public space for ALL to find, buy, use, discuss, create and share all things local.

Here are the other specific goals so far. As more people in the community participate the goals will evolve to reflect that resulting synergy.

Other Goals
*Support an already local minded community culture by providing ways to find those people, initiatives, business and programs.
*Make use of a common web space to find one another, share insights and collaborate on solutions to local needs.
*To provide and encourage local and sustainable minded people a way to connect and support each other's efforts and develop synergistic outcomes.
*Provide resources to help educate one another on the benefits of going local.
*Create a flexible web based community model that is free and easy to use, maintain, change and evolve into an unlimited web of community connections, and can easily be replicated by other communities for little to no money and by people with little to no web page building skills.
*Develop an ever growing number of community "authors" who will develop and maintain the LocalSustainability.Com pages. (*Developed for the community by the community for the community)
*Avoid the inclusion of any nonlocal advertisements.
*Provide opportunities for free listings of all independent, locally owned businesses, local nonprofits and apolitical/nonpartisan groups or individuals.
*Provide opportunities for free expression of all apolitical & nonpartisan views concerning the sustainability of our community and larger world.
*To provide a common community space that is as free from direct corporate, political, and government control and influences as possible.
*Provide a flexible model that can change as needed and replicated by other communities with ease.

[The following are from other sources - included for consideration: *Support local entrepreneurs, sustain family farms, create local jobs, have greater control over environmental impacts, increase sales and tax receipts to finance schools, hospitals, police, arts, transportation, and open spaces, maintain a unique community character, maximize the economic multiplier.*Encourage the development of a vibrant, sustainable economy by promoting local business ownership, social equity, and environmental kinship through education, support and collaboration.
*Encourage continuous learning: To be stewards of our region and in turn, to be supportive of our local, independently owned businesses, To enhance the livability of our community and the stability and diversity of the local economy, To increase the retention and expansion of independent, locally owned businesses through increasing awareness about the personal, community, and economic benefits of choosing local first
*To help re-circulate more dollars in our community to promote a strong local economy, support and strengthen locally owned, independent businesses and create and maintain local jobs, preserve and enhance our unique neighborhoods and sense of place, and contribute to what will keep our home place alive and special in the long-run]

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Small-Mart Revolution Checklists

Click Here for: A free download for consumers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, community builders & for promoting the local, globally
Excerpted from The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition, by Michael H. Shuman

LocalSustainability.Com attempts to respond to most, if not all, of the needs identified on this his check list:

Small-Mart Revolution Checklist
twenty-seven items for consumers
* All the items can be at least cost neutral with careful shopping, but items with an asterisk actually can yield significant household savings.
1 Localize Your Home* Rent from a local landlord, take a mortgage from a local bank, or own your home.
2 Live in Local Style Use local building materials for your house, with local architectural designs. Furnish with locally fabricated tables, chairs, beds, and couches.
3 Minimize Automobiles* Ride your vehicle less by walking, biking, carpooling, living in "walkable communities," and using mass transit.
4 Fuel Up Locally Make your next car very fuel efficient. Use local biodiesel and ethanol as they become available.
5 Local Car Services Find a good local mechanic whom you trust and who charges reasonably. Use the local car wash, local auto-parts store, and local insurer.
6 Eat Out Locally Avoid chain restaurants, especially fast-food joints that addict children to high-fat, high-salt food.
7 Buy Fresh Link up with local farmers and hydroponics operators for fruits, vegetables, and meats through farmers markets, co-ops, direct delivery services, and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. Rediscover local bakers, butchers, cheese makers, chefs, and caterers.
8 Support Local Retailers Dump Safeway, Albertson, Wal-Mart, and even Wild Oats for local grocers. Be loyal to competitive local pharmacies, bookstores, hardware stores, coffee roasters, photocopy centers, and so forth.
9 Play Local Minimize your passion for high-end electronics and television. Spend more time at local sports events, health clubs, playgrounds, pools, parks, games, films, plays, puppet shows, dancing, music, and debate leagues. If you must gamble, favor local lotteries, casinos, and horse tracks.
10 Heal Local Use local doctors, dentists, therapists, acupuncturists, and nursing homes.
11 Live Healthy* Emphasize local nutrition, exercise, emotional balance, and spiritual nurturing, all of which minimize the need for nonlocal pharmaceuticals.
12 Sign A Living Will* Have the hard conversation with your family about end-of-life decisions to save them from expensive, nonlocal life-support systems.
13 Minimize Household Energy Use* Add insulation, double pane the windows, buy compact florescent lights, replace the inefficient furnace and appliances, and do the 101 well-known items that cut purchases of nonlocal electricity, oil, and natural gas. Better still, put photovoltaics or a wind-electric generator on your roof and sell your electricity back to the utility.
14 Give Local Target charitable giving at local causes & nonprofits.
15 Axe Bad Habits* Minimize consumption of booze (except local microbrews and wines), cigarettes, and naughty Internet sites, all of which are hard to localize.
16 Educate Locally Support local public schools. If they are beyond repair, send your kids to local private schools.
17 Read Locally Buy books from local authors or local publishers, sold at local bookstores. Advertise in the local papers. Become a regular at the local library.
18 Honor Junk* Pare down your piles of "stuff" by repairing, reusing, and refurbishing. Substitute hand-me-down clothing, especially for young kids who never heard of Nordstroms. Give more gifts from the heart and fewer gift certificates to Best Buy.
19 Rent More* Rent or lease more big ticket items, like Zip cars. Create neighborhood tool sheds for shared lawnmowers or snow blowers.
20 Recycle More Send your paper, glass, and plastic to the local recycler not only because it’s good for the environment but also because it gives local industries affordable local inputs.

1 Directories of Local Business Create lists for your neighbors in print, online, in newspaper ads, and on coffee cups.
2 Directories of Local Products Highlight, again in print or online, the many locally made goods or locally provided services that are available.
3 Local Labels Develop a insignia of local ownership, so that you know if a store is locally owned or if a product is locally made.
4 Buy Local Days Or weeks, months, or seasons, all of which can provide the basis for a buy-local campaign.
5 Local Currency Mobilize your community to print its own "money" that can only be used by local businesses and consumers.
6 LETS Create computerized trading systems, which are especially popular in Europe, that encourage locals to trade with one another without touching mainstream money.
7 Time Dollars Set up a computerized system for tracking volunteer hours as a way of legitimizing and expanding such contributions for the community.
twenty-seven items for consumers(cont.)

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The Small-Mart Revolution by Michael Shuman

"The Small-Mart Revolution", Book by Michael Shuman
Contrary to popular belief, many small, locally owned businesses actually out-perform their “big box” and Fortune 500 competition—both in outright profitability and the value they bring to consumers, workers, and communities. His Blog

Unlike mega-stores and multi-national chains like Wal-Mart, these small businesses stimulate the economy by buying supplies and services locally, adapt to (rather than fight against) higher local environmental and labor regulations, and stick around for many years, often many generations.

The Small-Mart Revolution details dozens of specific strategies small and home-based businesses are using to successfully out-compete the world’s largest companies. And it shows how consumers, investors, policymakers, and organizers can effectively revitalize their own communities by supporting local businesses.

Purchase The Small-Mart Revolution at the TDC Book Store.

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The Story Of Stuff - On Line Video

What is the Story of Stuff? http://www.storyofstuff.com/
[This does an excellent job of providing the "big picture" on the true cost of the things we buy. The further from the source we are, the greater the social impact]
"From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."

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GRRN The GrassRoots Recycling Network

Who is GRRN?

The GrassRoots Recycling Network -

GRRN has a vision of the world where waste is not waste – it is a resource. We are the voice of all those who recycle and want to waste less and do more. GRRN is the leading voice calling for Zero Waste (ZW) in the United States by promoting the message that we must go “beyond recycling” and go upstream to the headwaters of the waste stream which is the industrial designer’s desk. ZW means not only 100% recovery of society’s discards, but also a redesign of the products and packaging of our lives such that everything produced for our consumer economy is non-toxic and designed to be recovered for re-use, recycling or composting.
GRRN is a national network of waste reduction activists and recycling professionals. We set ambitious standards for Zero Waste goals and policies. We provide opportunities for on-going meaningful participation in campaigns and build coalitions to achieve zero waste policies, businesses and communities. We have a valuable website and an active email listserve (called GreenYes) of many hundreds of knowledgeable experts in both downstream recovery and upstream clean production issues.

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The Transition Movement - Transition US

Tackling Climate Change and Peak Oil. Bringing the Head, Heart and Hands of Communities together to make the transition to life beyond oil.

Welcome to the website of Transition US, a nonprofit organization that provides inspiration, support, training, and networking for Transition Initiatives across the United States. We are working in close partnership with the Transition Network, a UK based organization that is supporting Transition Initiatives around the world (download the Transition Network's "Who We Are and What We Do" report to learn more).


You may also wish to visit our partner site www.TransitionUS.ning.com, a social networking community that facilitates communication among folks within the United States who are interested in learning about or implementing the Transition model in their locale. Read more.


Communities plan for a low-energy future
‘Transition initiatives,’ begun in Britain, aim to empower people to tackle effects of climate change and decline of oil.

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Buckminster Fuller Institute

About the Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems. We aim to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.

Our programs combine unique insight into global trends and local needs with a comprehensive approach to design. We encourage participants to conceive and apply transformative strategies based on a crucial synthesis of whole systems thinking, Nature's fundamental principles, and an ethically driven worldview.

By facilitating convergence across the disciplines of art, science, design and technology, our work extends the profoundly relevant legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller. In this way, we strive to catalyze the collective intelligence required to fully address the unprecedented challenges before us.
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Northwest Earth Institute

The Northwest Earth Institute is recognized as a national leader in the development of innovative programs that empower individuals and organizations to protect ecological systems.

Today, NWEI offers seven study guides for small groups. These self-guided discussion courses are offered in workplaces, universities, homes, faith centers, neighborhoods, and community centers throughout North America. Each program encourages participants to explore values, attitudes, and actions through discussion with other people.

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The Corporation

[The best overview of the systemic ways modern corporations impacts our lives.]http://www.thecorporation.com/WINNER OF 26 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS! 10 Audience Choice Awards including the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.Provoking, witty, stylish and sweepingly informative, THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time.
Part film and part movement, The Corporation is transforming audiences and dazzling critics with its insightful and compelling analysis. Taking its status as a legal "person" to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics - including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

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The Adirondack Green Circle - Saranac Lake

The Adirondack Green Circle
was started in 2007 by Gail Brill after reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. We meet at 10am the first Sunday of each month in the home of one of our members. At our monthly meeting we discuss ways to affect change in our own lives and in our community.

Our Mission Statement:
To create a forum that will educate and inspire both ourselves and our community to choose sustainable living practices. Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. By promoting these practices in our lives and in the community, we move towards living in harmony with our earth and each other.

Green Circle Goals:
*To choose and maintain an optimistic outlook about the future of our planet and the ability to affect positive change through sustainable practices
*Read, meet and discuss relevant articles and research
*Attend relevant workshops and meetings
*Provide outreach and education via our website and community events
*Work with local politicians and agencies to create a more sustainable and environmentally conscious government and community

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Community Action Starter Kit - From Sustainable Community Network


Placemaking: Tools for Community Action
is a starter kit for a community member, city official, planner, or design professional to identify currently available planning tools and to assess their applicability and appropriateness to specific projects or issues, alone or in combination.

Placemaking:  Tools for Community ActionDownload the entire document in one file using the link above, or in smaller files with the links below.

Download Part 1 (pp. 1-6, 364kb)
Download Part 2 (pp. 7-21, 756kb)
Download Part 3 (pp. 22-34, 605kb)
Download Part 4 (pp. 35-47, 409kb)

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Resources for Sustainability Education

This list is from Redefining Progress - The Nature of Economics

There is a wealth of resources available for educators who want to introduce the concept of sustainability in the classroom. Redefining Progress compiled a list of resources for K-12 sustainability education in conjunction with a survey conducted in 2003. This compilation was made possible by the Packard Foundation.

Bay Area Science Alliance

Single activities and module lessons for all levels on a variety of science topics.

Center for Economic Conversion
Sustainable economics and Genuine Progress Indicator module lessons for grades 9-12.

Centre for Science and Environment in India
Module lessons for all levels on a variety of sustainability topics.

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education
Lessons on consumption patterns, sustainable food systems, and sustainable economics for grades 6-12.

Creative Change Educational Solutions (CCES)
Module lessons on sustainable development and ecological economics for grades 7-12.


The World Bank's Development Education Program provides module lessons, quizzes, and games on sustainable development for grades 9-12.

Earth Education Partnership Program
Module lessons on sustainable development, population growth, and resource consumption for grades 9-12.

A free kit to teach for Canadian teachers about the Ecological Footprint concept.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

Activities and a sustainability toolkit for all levels.

The Educator's Reference Desk Lesson Plans
The U.S. Department of Education’s extensive list of resources for grades K-12.

Environmental Education Center
The Environmental Protection Agency's resource center for lesson plans, award programs, grants, and more.

Environmental Education (EE) Link
Single activities and module lessons for all levels on a wide range of environmental topics.

Facing the Future: People and the Planet
Module lessons on population growth, poverty, resource consumption, and sustainable economics for grades 5-12.

Global Footprints
Sustainability games, quizzes, and classroom activities on global citizenship and the Ecological Footprint for grades K-5.

Global Learning Inc.
Module lessons on sustainability and interrelated concepts of the environment for grades 6-12.

GLOBE Program
Module lessons for grades K-8 on atmosphere, hydrology, soil, land cover/biology, GPS, and seasons.

Green School Guidelines
Antioch New England Institute's resources for incorporating environmental literacy into school-wide educational programs.

Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley
Single activities and module lessons for all levels in science, math, and environmental subjects.

Ollie’s World
Lessons and online games on sustainability principles for grades K-8.

Population Education
A program by Population Connections offering module lessons for grades K-12 on population growth and resource consumption.

Project Learning Tree
Sample module lessons for Pre-K-12 on energy and society, forest ecology and issues, municipal solid waste, risk, and biodiversity.

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)
Activities and module lessons on sustainability and water for grades K-12.

Project WILD
Wildlife management, biodiversity, and sustainable economics activities and lessons for grades K-12.

Second Nature: Education for Sustainability
Offers workshops and support services to colleges and universities in their efforts to integrate sustainability as a core component of all education and practice.

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future:
A Multimedia Teacher Programme
UNESCO provides a broad range of lesson plans on interdisciplinary issues related to sustainability and sustainable development for grades 6-12.

Vermont Community Works
Free lessons on service learning and community-based education for grades K-12.

Vermont Population Alliance
Lessons for grades 4-12 on population, geography, and resource consumption.

Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education
An educator's network, conference information, and programs for Wisconsin teachers.

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The International Sustainability Indicators Network

The International Sustainability Indicators Network is a member-driven organization that provides people working on sustainability indicators with a method of communicating with and learning from each other. Through listserv discussions, virtual and in-person meetings, and special programs and trainings, the Network facilitates shared learning and development among sustainability indicators practitioners and others.

The Network also seeks to increase the use of sustainability indicators as a means of promoting movement toward sustainability at all scales, from local neighborhoods to the global economy.

ISIN was founded on the basis of Dana Meadow's definition of a network:

"A network is nonhierarchical. It is a web of connections among equals. What holds it together is not force, obligation, material incentive, or social contract, but rather shared values and the understanding that some tasks can be accomplished together that could never be accomplished separately. One of the important purposes of a network is simply to remind its members that they are not alone."
- D.H. Meadows, Beyond the Limits

As an ISIN member, you help determine how active and strong the Network is by the level of your participation. In particular, the work groups and the listserv provide great opportunities to work on the challenges practitioners face and to learn what others are working on and thinking about. This is your Network, so get involved today!

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Burlington Legacy Project

Burlington has won national awards for being a livable city, for offering a vibrant lifestyle, and being a place where people can choose to raise families. These are a few of the many attributes that make Burlington unique. The Legacy Project was created in 1999 to help maintain those qualities that we all cherish about our city, and create a comprehensive plan to guide change for the economic, environmental, and social health of Burlington for years to come.

The process was overseen by a diverse steering committee. Its members included leaders from the business, low-income, environment, academic, youth, and social service communities. They were charged with coordinating a public involvement campaign and preparing the action plan.

Thousands of people from all age groups and all parts of the city participated to build a common vision of Burlington's future. Citizens were asked to identify what they value most about Burlington and what they hope future generations will not have to experience. Numerous open meetings, focus groups, and discussions were conducted resulting in an action plan that was shaped and prioritized by Burlington residents.

The Burlington Legacy Project Common Vision:

  • maintaining Burlington as a regional population, government, cultural, and economic center with livable wage jobs, full employment, social supports, and housing that matches job growth and family income
  • improving the quality of life in neighborhoods
  • increasing participation in community decision-making
  • providing youth with high-quality education and social supports, and lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • preserving environmental health

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Green America

About Green America

Join Green America Today!

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. (We went by the name "Co-op America" until January 1, 2009.)

Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

Our Vision

We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

What Makes Green America Unique

  • We focus on economic strategies—economic action to solve social and environmental problems.
  • We mobilize people in their economic roles—as consumers, investors, workers, business leaders.
  • We empower people to take personal and collective action
  • We work on issues of social justice and environmental responsibility. We see these issues as completely linked in the quest for a sustainable world. It’s what we mean when we say “green.”
  • We work to stop abusive practices and to create healthy, just and sustainable practices.

Learn more about our work »

7 fixes from the Green Economy.

The 7 ideas are:

  • Green Energy - Green Jobs
  • Clean Energy Victory Bonds
  • Reduce, Reuse, Rethink
  • Go Green, Fair Trade, and Local
  • Community Investing
  • Shareowner Activism
  • Building Community

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Sustainable Communities Network

A large list of organizations and resources that promote sustainable communities


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The E. F. Schumacher Society

The E. F. Schumacher Society:
"named after the author of Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered, is an educational non-profit organization founded in 1980. Our programs demonstrate that both social and environmental sustainability can be achieved by applying the values of human-scale communities and respect for the natural environment to economic issues.

Building on a rich tradition often known as decentralism, the Society initiates practical measures that lead to community revitalization and further the transition toward an economically and ecologically sustainable society."

Overview of the Society

The E. F. Schumacher Society in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was founded in 1980 by Robert Swann and a group of Schumacher’s American friends and colleagues. A lifelong pacifist and advocate of decentralism, Swann was drawn to Schumacher’s ideas through reading his articles in Resurgence magazine. In 1967 he went to England to meet Schumacher and suggested to him that these articles be published in book form. This led directly to the collection of essays that became Small Is Beautiful. Swann subsequently organized Schumacher’s 1974 North America tour to promote the book, a trip that was also to have a catalytic effect on the sustainable energy movement in the United States. At the end of the tour Schumacher suggested that Swann establish a United States-based group to work at the interface of economics, land use, and applied technology. Six years later, at the urging of Ian Baldwin, David Ehrenfeld, Hazel Henderson, Satish Kumar, and John McClaughry, Robert Swann took on the challenge, and the E. F. Schumacher Society came into being. With Susan Witt as executive director the Society has evolved programs that have grown increasingly effective in fulfilling the mission envisioned by Schumacher.

Fritz Schumacher and Robert Swann at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod

The Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures provide a public forum for scholars and activists working in the Schumacher tradition, and they are becoming recognized as a resource presenting knowledge too valuable to be forgotten.

The E. F. Schumacher Office and Library, located in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, has grown to a building housing a twelve-thousand volume, computer-indexed library of books, pamphlets, tapes, and specialized bibliographies. The subject matter focuses on decentralism, human-scale societies, regionally based economic systems, local currency experiments, and community land trusts. In 1995 Vreni Schumacher, Schumacher’s widow, bequeathed his entire library to the E. F. Schumacher Society. This asset infuses the Schumacher Library, according to board member Kirkpatrick Sale, with “the essence of the man himself, in all his dimensions. I was especially pleased to see that we have all his book reviews and articles (published, and often with typescript, sometimes with manuscript) and loads of his speeches (manuscript and mimeographed), none of which has ever been gone through systematically and some of which I think no one even knew about or remembered. Plus those notebooks-who knows what rich veins may be there.”

In addition to the resources of the Library, the annual lectures, seminars, and conferences, the Schumacher Society develops model programs that work to build sustainable local economies.

“Among material resources, the greatest, unquestionably,” wrote Schumacher, “is the land. Study how a society uses its land, and you can come to pretty reliable conclusions as to what its future will be.” One of the Society’s goals has been to create new institutional forms that provide access to land based on social and ecological objectives rather than market forces. The community land trust model developed by Robert Swann provides just such a vehicle for decommoditizing land and places stewardship in the hands of a democratically-structured, regional organization. The Schumacher Society, actively involved with its Berkshire community land trust, has published a handbook of legal documents that help others to organize community land trusts.

The legal documents for the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires are available at the Society's web site (www.smallisbeautiful.org) together with material on the BerkShares local currency program, lectures, newsletters, and seminar and conference proceedings. Together these materials provide a rich testament to Schumacher's lasting legacy and the vitality of his ideas to inspire new work and application in communities seeking to build sustainable economies that link people, land, and community.

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Plugging The Leaks: Making the most of every pound [dollar] that enters your local economy

Plugging The Leaks - This site by the NEF (New Economics Foundation) provides a simple to understand web based explanation of the flow of local money. It helps one understand why money flows out and how more of it can stay in. "Going Local" helps keep money in. They offer books but you can simply use the menu to follow the basic story (sorry, no video but it does have pictures and a good online story). CLICK ON "How your local economy works" and then on "How local money flows". A useful tool for any community.

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The Great Work by Thomas Berry

The Great Work [Published by: Harmony/Bell Tower; November 2000 ISBN: 0609804995]
"The future can exist only if humans understand how to commune with the natural world rather than exploit it, explains Thomas Berry. Already the planet is so damaged and the future is so challenged by its rising human population that the terms of survival will be severe beyond anything we have known in the past." An Essay from The Great Work

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The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David Korten

"David Korten’s classic bestseller, When Corporations Rule the World, was one of the first books to articulate the destructive and oppressive nature of the global corporate economy. Now, ten years later, Korten shows that the problem runs deeper than corporate domination—with far greater consequences.

In The Great Turning, Korten argues that corporate consolidation of power is merely a contemporary manifestation of what he calls “Empire”: the organization of society by hierarchies of domination grounded in violent chauvinisms of race, gender, religion, nationality, language, and class. The result has been the same for 5,000 years, fortune for the few and misery for the many. Increasingly destructive of children, family, community, and nature, the way of Empire is leading to environmental and social collapse.

hThe Great Turning makes the case that we humans are a choice making species that at this defining moment faces both the opportunity and the imperative to choose our future as a conscious collective act. We can no longer deny the need nor delay our response. A mounting perfect economic storm is fast approaching. A convergence of climate change, peak oil, and the financial instability inherent in an unbalanced global trading system will bring an unraveling of the corporate-led global economy and a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life.
We cannot avoid the unraveling. We can, however, turn a potentially terminal crisis into an epic opportunity to bring forth a new era of Earth Community grounded in the life-affirming cultural values shared by most all the world’s people and eloquently articulated in the Earth Charter.

The Great Turning is an essential resource for those who understand this need and are prepared to engage what Thomas Berry calls the Great Work. It cuts through the complexity of our time to illuminate a simple, but elegant truth. We humans live by stories. We are held captive to the ways of Empire by a cultural trance of our own creation maintained by stories that deny the higher possibilities of our human nature—including our capacities for compassion, cooperation, responsible self-direction, and self-organizing partnership.

Changing our future begins with changing our stories. A work already underway, it ultimately calls out for the participation of every person on the planet. The Great Turning points the way to the inspiring outcome within our reach.

FROM Chpt 19 - Leading From Below:
"As newly liberated economic spaces connect, they may bring
forth larger unifying institutional structures, such as cooperative buying and branding
groups, but they remain always rooted in and controlled by communities of place. Each
such expansion provides people with more choices of where to shop, work, and invest,
thereby allowing them to reclaim for their communities more of the life energy that
global corporations drain away.
Such efforts might seem futile if not for the fact that community-rooted, humanscale,
values-based, independent businesses constitute by far the majority of all
businesses, provide most of the jobs, create nearly all new jobs, and serve as the primary
source of technological innovation.5 They include businesses of all sorts, from bookstores
to bakeries, land trusts, manufacturing facilities, software developers, organic farms,
farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture initiatives, restaurants specializing in
locally grown organic produce, worker co-ops, community banks, suppliers of fair-traded
coffee, independent media outlets, and many more."

Table of Contents (some chapters are excerpted here)
Chapter Summaries
Prologue: In Search of the Possible
Part I: Choosing Our Future
1. The Choice
2. The Possibility
3. The Imperative
4. The Opportunity
Part II: Sorrows of Empire
5. When God Was a Woman
6. Ancient Empire
7. Modern Empire
8. Athenian Experiment
Part III: America, The Unfinished Project
9. Inauspicious Beginning
10. People Power Rebellion
11. Empire’s Victory
12. Struggle for Justice
13. Wake Up Call
14. Prisons of the Mind
Part IV: The Great Turning
15. Beyond Strict Father Vs Aging Clock
16. Creation’s Epic Journey
17. Joys of Earth Community
18. Stories for a New Era
Part V: Birthing Earth Community
19. Leading from Below (excerpt)
20. Building A Political Majority (excerpt)
21. Liberating Creative Potential
22. Change the Story, Change the Future

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American Independent Business Alliance

Think of your favorite shop or restaurant. We'll bet it's a home town business. Independent locally-owned businesses are essential to a vital local economy and community character. They use the goods and services of other local businesses, serve as community hubs, and are vital components of healthy neighborhoods and strong city centers. They're where the locals go. They're owned by our friends and neighbors, or maybe even by you. (see our print-friendly article, The Benefits of Doing Business Locally)
The threat to our communities is real. The trend of increasing recruitment of and dependence on absentee-owned chains -- with formulas dictating everything from the look of the building to who does the printing to where the money gets deposited -- has unhealthy consequences. It's not just local businesses who suffer -- our communities are losing social, cultural and economic strength, a place for entrepreneurship, and the ability to choose our own futures.We are here to help. http://amiba.net/
AMIBA is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We help communities prevent the displacement of locally-owned independent businesses, ensure ongoing opportunities for entrepreneurs, and advance citizen engagement in directing the development of their community through:
Helping citizens launch and successfully operate an Independent Business AllianceSM
National public education and campaigns uniting communities in concerted action -- we're shifting culture to support local businesses
Networking IBAs and sharing good ideas, tools and strategies
Providing a national voice for independent business
An Independent Business Alliance is a coalition of locally-owned independent businesses, citizens and community organizations united to support home town businesses in a community or geographic region. An IBA is a proven tool for helping maintain unique community character, ensuring continued opportunities for entrepreneurs, building local economic strength, and preventing the displacement of locally-owned businesses by chains. An IBA helps return decision-making ability over a community's future to the people who call it "home."
IBAs accomplish this through three focus areas:
Informing citizens of the values provided by community-based businesses and their importance to the local economy, culture and social fabric. This helps residents view themselves as citizens, rather than as consumers, first by engaging them in active dialogue and decision-making about where they choose to spend their money.
Group branding, promotion and advertising to elevate the collective profile of our community-based businesses to help level the playing field and bring to them some of the market advantages chains enjoy.
Creating strong relationships with local government and the media to inform local decision-making and give a voice to the locally-owned independent business community and promote policy that supports community-rooted enterprise.

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The New Rules Project

New Rules Project - 2007 Annual ReportLearn about our accomplishments in three sectors of targeted focus:
Hometown Advantage - expanding, developing and protecting locally owned retail businesses
Democratic Energy - dispersed energy generation and local ownership
Telecommunications As Commons - building strong, publicly owned telecommunications networks

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Institute for Local Self-Reliance

About ILSR - 33 Year Track Record Promoting Sustainable Communities
"ILSR Mission
The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.

Since 1974, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has been working to enable communities with tools to increase economic effectiveness, reduce wastes, decrease environmental impacts and provide for local ownership of the infrastructure and resources essential for community well-being."

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Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense by By John E. Ikerd

"Provides a discussion on achieving and maintaining a new economics of sustainability, including how social and ethical values must be reintegrated into capitalist economics"
http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdjCheck out his page for on-line papers and his other books! He does well at providing a "big picture" of the issue and possible solution.

My Top Ten Reasons for Eating Local[i]

John Ikerd

Some people seem perfectly happy with foods they find in the supermarkets and franchise restaurants of our increasingly global, industrial food system. But, a lot of us are not. A growing body of statistics is indicating that people increasingly want to eat local; they want to buy food from people they know and can trust. Recent surveys have shown:[ii]
· Seventy-three percent of Americans want to know whether food is grown or produced locally or regionally.
· Seventy-five percent of consumers, in seven Midwestern states and in Boston and Seattle areas, give top priority to produce “grown locally by family farmers.”
· Seventy percent of households, in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, indicate it is very or extremely important to support local family farms by eating locally grown foods.
· Shoppers who buy “natural” foods overwhelmingly choose freshness as their number-one value.
Increasingly, people are acting on their preferences for local eating, as evidenced by a doubling of number of farmers’ markets in less than ten years, persistent growth in number of CSAs, and growing number of independent restaurants and food stores relying on local foods for their market advantage. Why are more people choosing to eat local? Everyone has his or her personal reasons, of course, but I developed my “Top Ten List,” primarily for the benefit of those who may feel may feel a bit intimidated by those who consider choosing to eat local a bit strange.
I chose to rank my list from the least important to most important reasons. Others obviously would rank them differently, but my ranking reflects my belief that the roots of change in Americans’ food preferences go far deeper than food quality or safety. I believe that buying more food locally could be an important step toward solving some deep-rooted problems of the American food system, and ultimately, of American society.

10. Eating local eliminates the middlemen. Transportation, energy, packing, advertising, and middlemen profits account for about 25-percent of total food cost, all of which can be greatly reduced by eating local. However, local farmers generally cannot afford to operate on as small a margin of return to their land, labor, and management as can large-scale, global, industrial operations. In addition, industrial producers externalize some of their production costs by exploiting nature and society. So, local foods may not be cheaper, but eating local certainly reduces the negative social and ecological consequences of our food choices.

9. Eating local saves transportation costs. Recent estimates indicate that the average fresh food item travels 1,500 miles from production to final purchase.[iii] Transportation costs amounts to only about four-percent of food costs, but this doesn’t count the cost of publicly funded infrastructure. In addition, energy for transportation is virtually all derived from non-renewable fossil fuels and transportation is a major source of air pollution. By eating local we can make a significant contribution to social and ecological sustainability through our personal statement in favor of reducing our dependence on non-renewable energy and protecting the natural environment.

8. Eating local improves food quality. Local foods can be fresher, more flavorful, and nutritious than can fresh foods shipped in from distant locations. According to most surveys, this reason would top most lists of those who choose to eat locally. In addition to the obvious advantage in freshness, growers who produce for local customers need not give priority to harvesting, packing, shipping, and shelf life qualities, but instead can select, grow, and harvest crops to ensure peak qualities of freshness, nutrition, and taste. Eating local also encourages eating seasonally, in harmony with the natural energy of a particular place, which is becoming an important dimension of quality for many of us.

7. Eating local makes at-home eating worth the time and effort. Preparing local foods, which typically are raw or minimally processed, requires additional time and effort. But, the superior natural quality of local foods allows almost anyone to prepare really good foods at home. Good local foods taste good naturally, with little added seasoning and little cooking or slow cooking, which requires little attention. Home preparation of raw foods also saves money, compared with convenience foods, which makes good food affordable for almost anyone, regardless of income, who can and will prepare food from scratch. Preparing and eating meals at home also provides opportunities for families to share quality time together in creative, productive, and rewarding activities, which contribute to stronger families, communities, and societies.

6. Eating local provides more meaningful food choices. Americans often brag about the incredible range of choices that consumers have in the modern supermarket today. In many respects, however, food choices are severely limited. Virtually all of food items in supermarkets today are produced using the same mass-production, industrial methods, with the same negative social and ecological consequences. In addition, the variety in foods today is largely cosmetic and superficial, contrived to create the illusion of diversity and choice where none actually exists. By eating local, food buyers can get the food they individually prefer by choosing from foods that are authentically different, not just in physical qualities, but also in terms of the ecological and social consequences of how they are produced.

5. Eating local contributes to the local economy. American farmers, on average, receive only about 20 cents of each dollar spent for food, the rest going for processing, transportation, packing, and other marketing costs. Farmers who sell food direct to local customers, however, receive the full retail value, a dollar for each food dollar spent. Of course, each dollar not spent at a local supermarket or eating establishment, detracts from the local economy. But, the local food economy still gains about three dollars for each dollar lost when food shoppers choose to buy from local farmers. In addition, farmers who produce for local markets receive a larger proportion of the total as a return for their labor, management, and entrepreneurship because they contribute a larger proportion to the production process. They also tend to spend locally, both for their personal and farming needs, which contribute still more to the local economy. Eating local is good for the local economy.

4. Eating local helps save farmland. More than one million acres of U.S. farmland is lost each year to residential and commercial development. We are still as dependent upon the land for our very survival today as when all people were hunters and gatherers, and future generations will be no less dependent than we are today. Our dependencies are more complex and less direct, but certainly are no less critical. Eating local creates economic opportunities for caring farmers to care for and retain control of their land, while valuing their neighbors as customers. Farms that don’t impose environmental and social costs on their neighbors can be very desirable places to live on and to live around. Eating local may allow new residential communities to be established on farms, with residences strategically placed to retain the best land in farming. New sustainable communities could be built around common interests in good food and good lifestyles.

3. Eating local allows people to reconnect. The industrial food system was built upon a foundation of impersonal, economic relationships among farmers, food processors, food distributors, and consumers. Relationships had to be made impartial and impersonal to gain economic efficiency. As a result, however, many people today have no meaningful understanding of where their food comes from or how it is produced. By eating local, people are able to reconnect with local farmers, and through local farmers, reconnect with the earth. Many people first begin to understand a need to reconnect when they develop personal relationships with their farmers and personal knowledge of their farms. We cannot build a sustainable food system until people develop a deep understanding of their dependency upon each other and upon the earth. Thus, in my opinion, reconnecting is one of the most important reasons for eating local.

2. Eating local restores integrity to the food system. A sustainable food system must be built upon a foundation of personal integrity. When people eat locally, farmers form relationships with customers who care about the social and ecological consequences of how their food is produced – not just lower price, more convenience. Those who eat locally form relationships with farmers who care about their land, their neighbors, and their customers – not just about maximizing profits. Such relationships become relationships of trust and integrity, based on honesty, fairness, compassion, responsibility, and respect. Eating local provides people with an opportunity not only to reconnect personally, but also, to restore integrity to our relationships with each other and with the earth. In today’s society, there can be fewer if any higher priorities.

1. Eating local helps build a sustainable society. The growing problems that confront today’s food system are but reflections of deeper problems within the whole of American society. We are degrading the ecological integrity of the earth and the social integrity of our society in our pursuit of narrow, individual economic self-interests. Some may argue that Americans will never agree on the principles that define the integrity of our relationships. However, such arguments mistake values for principles. I believe virtually all Americans agree that people should be honest, fair, compassionate, responsible, and respectful.[iv] Who among us really believes it to be right and good to be dishonest, unfair, uncaring, irresponsible, and disrespectful? Relationships of integrity are essential for sustainability, not just for our food system, but also for the whole of our society and the future of humanity. There can be no higher reason for eating local than helping to restore integrity to our society.

[i] “Sustaining People through Agriculture series,” Small Farm Today Magazine, Missouri Farm Publications, Clark, MO. July August, 2005.
[ii] Diane Conners, “Hunger Grows for Locally Grown Food: Restaurants, grocery stores discovering a tasty advantage, published by Great Lakes Bulletin News Service, 3/30/2005.
[iii] Rich Pirog, “Food Miles: A Simple Metaphor to Contrast Local and Global Food Systems,”in Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, American Dietetic Association, also available from Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs/staff/ppp/index.htm
[iv] These five principles are advocated by the Institute for Global Ethics, website http://www.globalethics.org/.

Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics
University of Missouri Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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G R A C E - Global Resource Action Center for the Environment

Click HERE To View A Slide Show Of Why Local And Sustainable Is Important
[GRACE is a private non-profit based in NYC. It is the home of 7 Major Non-corporate Sustainability Sites: FactoryFarm.Org, The Meatrix, Eat Well Guide, Sustainability Table, H2O Conserve, Network for New Energy Choices, & National Energy Research Data Base. Each site provides amazing services for LOCAL and SUSTAINABLE minded people and groups and is worth checking out. There is are no advertisements or corporate sposors listed. If anyone finds out more about this organization please comment. They are not willing to disclose who organized this nonprofit and who funds so it is unclear what motivates the backer. However, it all appears to be consistent with higher order principles shared by most sustainabily minded people and groups.]
GRACE Mission Statement
"Working with research, policy, consumer and grassroots organizations, GRACE promotes and helps develop community based production and consumption of food, water and energy.
Creating innovative awareness campaigns, GRACE advocates for economically and environmentally sound alternatives to practices that are harmful to the ecosystem and public health."

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BBC - Four Documentaries - The Century of The Self
[PR: The Corporation's Influence. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? This documentary provides broad and historical insights into a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society's belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man's ultimate goal.]
On-Line Video at Google (Part 1 of 4)

Adam Curtis' acclaimed series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty.

To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history. Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis; Edward Bernays, who invented public relations; Anna Freud, Sigmund's devoted daughter; and present-day PR guru and Sigmund's great grandson, Matthew Freud.

Sigmund Freud's work into the bubbling and murky world of the subconscious changed the world. By introducing a technique to probe the unconscious mind, Freud provided useful tools for understanding the secret desires of the masses. Unwittingly, his work served as the precursor to a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society's belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man's ultimate goal.

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Marketing to school age students is now a 2 billion dollar industry. The way corporate sponsors are stepping up to the plate, offering promotions, sponsorships and even free curriculum there is no stopping the flow of advertising in covert forms. Or is there? The problem is there are few or no regulations in place to protect our children from corporate marketing campaigns that look just like classroom lessons. And schools need playgrounds and gym equipment that taxes do not seem to pay for any longer. Enter new corporate champions. First come sponsorships, then come naming rights and next come learning materials in the classrooms! Watch as donations become classroom resources and product placement opportunities. The good news is some school districts are fighting back and succeeding in keeping the classrooms a safe haven from the marketing hype.

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