Five Tips for Living Local

“Eat local” has become a popular slogan. But can you take steps to “live local,” too? In 2012, challenge yourself to shop, eat, dine, and recreate in ways that take advantage of the businesses and resources near your home.

by Debbie Van Der Hyde
January 26th, 2012, Sierra Club Green Home

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Why? For starters, living local strengthens the economy around you. For every $100 spent at a local business, up to $68 stays in the local economy. In contrast, $100 spent at a national big-box chain yields as little as $43 (or less) for the local economy. Living local also reduces the environmental impact of traveling long distances for the products and services you need.

Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think to live local. According to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), there are more than 80 community networks in 30 US states and Canadian provinces that are practicing living locally. In these communities, there are thousands of socially-responsible, locally-owned businesses from which to choose.

To start living local, think about your community or neighborhood. What businesses are in a walkable one- to five-mile radius? Which ones are in a drivable 10- to 15-mile radius?

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