We live in an increasingly global community. Digital technology, the Internet, and innovations in transportation have all contributed to making it easy to interact with even the farthest corners of the world. And while there are certainly benefits to globalization, there are drawbacks, too. One of the biggest is the growing loss of locality – the awareness and preference of our local communities and the unique benefits they have to offer.
Let’s face it: we could all do with less stuff. Our economy is built around the premise that it’s always better to buy more. Why settle for just one of something when you could easily have half a dozen?
The problem, of course, is that it takes a lot of energy and resources to make all this stuff. Even worse, much of it is disposable or doesn’t even get used and just ends up in landfills or incinerators, adding to the overload of atmospheric carbon dioxide and contributing to global warming. Depressing, right? Well, not so fast. There’s something we can all do to help – consume less. When growing numbers of concerned individuals launch their own micro effort to help, the results are exponential and begin to have a real impact in the fight to curb climate change.
One way each of us can help is to look to local businesses first before ordering something from one of the online mega retailers. Personally, I’m shifting my relationship with stuff and have discovered the joy of buying locally produced, higher quality items from the farms, small businesses, and craftspeople in my neck of the woods. Yes, purchasing something that is handmade by a local artisan may cost a little more but it’s more precious to me than a mass-produced throw-away version.
Working together to design, build, and support a local pocket park that in turn supports local businesses and community connections builds value into the local economy.
For example, a hand-knit, 100 percent local wool sweater is higher-quality and longer-lasting than some synthetic, cheaply-made sweater that will shrink, lose its shape, and come unraveled in a relatively short period of time. You’ll pay more for the handmade sweater, but it will look better, last forever, and provide more value and comfort than the cheap alternative. Sure, you may still need a manufactured, high-tech-fabric piece of outerwear for special activities you enjoy, but in the long run you’ll need less items overall.
We all can support our local economy by also buying many of our everyday items from local farms and businesses: produce, meat, honey, soap, beauty products, and other goods. In general, they are better for us because they’re typically made from local natural ingredients, and they’re much more environmentally-friendly because they don’t require all the artificial preservatives and stabilizers industrially-manufactured consumables do. And because they don’t have to be transported over long distances, they reduce fossil fuel consumption and harmful emissions. What’s not to love about local?
And it’s not just products. Buying local also means restaurants as well as trade and professional services. It might be easier to call a national chain you see advertised regularly, but if you call your local plumber, electrician, accountant, and attorney you’ll get the undivided, personal attention of someone around the corner who appreciates your business and is often eager to help above and beyond what a big franchise might do.
At The Garden Continuum we specialize in regenerative landscaping and are hyper-focused on horticulture and the soil that supports it. We’re also bullish on our local communities and have chosen to build our business locally, working with like-minded local partners when specific elements of the landscape we’re working on need services we don’t provide, such as irrigation installation, large tree work, mowing, and snow removal. We want our focus to remain on supporting the landscape through natural development and maintenance techniques in a holistic approach we call The Life-Scape Method™.
Regenerative landscape practices used in partnership with Sustainable Design allows this pocket park to thrive with no irrigation and strategic low maintenance inputs.
By staying local we minimize our own environmental impact and are able to deliver much higher value to our clients while staying true to the concept of regenerative landscape practices. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of this approach and how it can improve the value and beauty of your landscape while increasing your joy and quality of life through a more natural aesthetic, contact us today. We’d be happy to sit down and talk!
If you are interested in regenerative gardening, please download our eBook about it called How Regenerative Gardening will help Fight Climate Change.
If you are in our service area around Medfield, MA, consider scheduling a Landscape Discovery Session to talk about your landscape needs.