Friday, 7 October 2011

The New Economy – Local Food And Energy Will Fix The Economy In 1 Year Or Less

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s wrong with this economy and some clear and concise steps we can all take to improve the economy immediately.

While reading Slow Money, (If you don't know about Slow Money, it means we all start spending money locally deliberately. It doesn't matter how much, 1% will help ensure that local food producers are able to make a living at producing food, which secures food production) - the realization hit me – we are hemorrhaging money from this country with every drop of gas and oil we buy and burn. Some estimates are in the Billion$ a day! This money could be going to seeing to it your neighbor has a job, doesn’t loose their house at a devalued market and therefore devalue yours. And you get good health and make new friends in the process.

How to start? It’s easy! The money you usually spend on gas every week can go for buying a bike, among other things. Maybe its only $10 a week that you can cut back on gas, maybe its $129 a week, but the important thing is- only you can stop the hemorrhaging of money out of this country. If we all start making the effort to stop this blood bath – the lives we save may be our own. It might sound idealist, but every president in office in the last 30 years has told us we must stop our addiction to gas. . .and we didn’t listen and not all of us are listening now.

We’re not listening to the sound of jobs leaving the country. We’re not listening to the tent cities popping up around the country and the homeless people living out of their cars or standing roadside begging. We’re not listening to the unemployed or under-employed. What we are listening to is the voice over the tubes telling us we deserve our freedom, we “deserve” our ability of each be independently mobile. This message is a strangle hold on our ideals when it conflicts with our common goals and ideals of real freedom – the ability to not work, not have affordable healthy food and reasonable priced energy.

But its not all bad- we get some nice benefits! Here’s a few ways we can rebuild our country that are easy –

  • Ø Ride share to work with a neighbor;
  • Ø Clean out the bike out of the garage and ride it once or twice a week;
  • Ø Walk to shops, work and entertainment;
  • Ø Work a day or two from home; or
  • Ø Take low cost public transportation.
  • Ø Some people are using “neighborhood vehicles” so they divide the cost of insurances, maintenance as well as gas.

Don’t know how to organize any of these? Print this out and share with someone who is complaining about the economy. Send them to this website - Here we are all working on the solutions and many of us find solutions and share them. Share the Slow Money concept with them - We can use the Slow Money concept to rebuild our cities and communities with the money we save.

How best to spent this money? Start buying local food and invest in local energy. These are the 2 resources you will not want to be without. Doing this will build community and strengthen your ties to it. You will find resources you never knew you had and gain knowledge shared by others. Others will quickly join because frankly, no man is an island.

  1. Find your local farmers markets and local growers.
    1. Learn to grow some of your own food. And learn to put away some for rainy days. You can start by watching DIRT-the Movie. (also available on NetFlix.) Or if you are limited by space, check out "If you can feed Your Family with Aqua-ponics" here.
  2. Use your newly found money to build your own solar, wind or hydropower. Install back up wood heat and meet your local wood suppliers.
    1. Solar may still be high priced, but it comes in handy when other sources of power are not available. Check out more on solar here.
    2. Wind is also high priced, but again, any power is useful when no other power is available. However, many units can be home-made so the cost is greatly reduced. Click here for more info on wind options
    3. Hydropower is still one of the best options as energy if you have any flowing water available. It is a fairly constant source of energy and batteries may not be required. Like wind energy, home-made units can be made. Click here for some hydropower options.
    4. Wood heat use is expected to increase in use by 600% over the next few years. Yet, we do not have enough wood to fill the needs of this type of demand. Without better burn technology, we risk de-foresting our lands. One of the ways we can conserve our wood is to burn it more efficiently. The Rocket Mass Heater is one way to get more heat from less wood. Some estimates are 90% more heat (from the same amount of wood). The JetStove is another heavy metal pre-fab unit. Both units create a Taurus burn which burn off smoke and that creates more heat. Both units can convert to heat water, cook, dry foods and more.
  3. Conserve. Conserve. Conserve.
    1. Conserve at Home Click for ideas on easy ways to save time and energy.
    2. Conserve with food At Least think about turning the water guzzling high maintenance lawns into edible landscaping or at least plant a low maintenance, naturally short growing no mow grasses. Planting a landscape of edibles like fruit trees, strawberries or even zucchini can give you a lot of satisfaction and be a source of healthy food.
    3. Conserve in Transportation Energy!

Local Food and Energy – Make it the Cornish Way. And do it soon – we need to make things better fast.

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