by Rob Avis, Verge Permaculture, October 23, 2013 North America is full of small dying towns that are loaded with perfectly good infrastructure, cheap lots and small homes on large lots. They have commercial centers, water systems, parks, social structures and are surrounded by cheap to rent – and sometimes own – agricultural land. They are walkable, bikeable, quiet and usually human scaled. It would seem that these would be bursting with young families trying to make a go at...

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by Annie Leonard, YES Magazine, August 2013 Consumerism, even when it tries to embrace “sustainable” products, is a set of values that teaches us to define ourselves, communicate our identity, and seek meaning through acquisition of stuff, rather than through our values and activities and our community. Today we’re so steeped in consumer culture that we head to the mall even when our houses and garages are full. We suffer angst over the adequacy of our belongings and amass crushing...

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Michael Shuman, author of the book Local Dollars, Local Sense, is director of research for Cutting Edge Capital, director of research and economic development at the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. “Traditional  public-sector improvement in education, health, and other quality-of-life factors can only be sustained in communities generating their own wealth, and this is only possible in communities rich in entrepreneurs.”

Relocalization is a strategy to create resilient, sustainable communities by moving the production of food, energy, and essential goods closer to those who will consume them, and by developing local governance, culture, and currency. The goals are multiple: an increase in food and energy security; empowerment by local decision-making and participatory democracy; better management of the bioregion’s ecosystems; reduction in consumption and waste; a focus on the quality of relationships; and an improvement in social equity. Relocalization is our best...

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