11 October 2013

Commonomics: Building Strong Local Economies for Everyone

YES! Magazine's new series, Commonomics, focuses on the local. As a collaboration between YES! and GRITtv, the series invokes Wendell Berry's vision of economy: "I mean not economics but economy, the making of the human household upon the earth; the arts of adapting kindly the many, many human households to the earth's many ecosystems and human neighborhoods.

Commonomics looks to challenge the status quo approach to modern life, where capitalism and convenience rank above all else. Where the ends ($$$) justify the means.

Building strong local communities means building resilience in the face of an increasingly homogeneous culture of business nationwide. Resilience builds up economic, environmental and social sustainability from individuals to groups to communities.

In my old hometown, for example, I see that a Dollar General store is going up.  For the profit of very few, if any, in this small farming community people will be able to purchase cheap imported goods with more convenience than ever. It's a terrible idea. Why not encourage people to either buy their cheap foreign imports from existing local stores or, better yet, urge those same local stores to find better, more sustainable, American made products?

Some of the biggest "patriots" I know shop at Wal-Mart and other stores that reap huge profits by trading in cheap, disposable foreign imports. Commonomics, hosted by Laura Flanders (@GRITlaura on Twitter), challenges the notions of what's become normal by highlighting communities choosing to go a different route, choosing to actively create a new normal, a sustainable future starting now.

07 October 2013

Citizen Voices Matter Campaign Kickoff in Madison

Midwest Environmental Advocates is offering a sneak peek of Citizen Voices Matter, a social media campaign on frac sand and iron mining in Wisconsin.

When: Thursday, October 10
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Film screening at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Marigold Kitchen
118 S. Pinckney St. Madison, WI 53703

#CitizenVoicesMatter or @MidwestAdvocate on Twitter