I used to frequent a small sandwich shop, O’Bagelo’s. The owner and only employee, John Vito, was a miser and philosopher of sorts- he’d make interesting and thought provoking conversation while crafting your lunch.
“The most interesting people that I know are local. They read the city paper, get involved in their community, and constantly know what’s happening around them.”
It was just conversation, but this quote stuck with me over the years.
Now that I’ve gotten more into the movement, I’ve realized the most important thing that you can do for your community is to support your local ecosystem- whatever that means to you. For me, it means supporting small businesses and buying as close-to-home as possible. By keeping your dollars in town, you’re reinvesting money back into your neighborhood, instead of exporting it to some company in China.
Two months ago I made a pledge to spend $50/week supporting local food by buying most of my groceries from the Charleston Farmer’s Market. It’s not much, but imagine the change if everyone got onboard. Communities would be self-sustaining and local businesses vibrant.
But I think there’s more to this. I support other ecosystems that I’m interested in, too. I believe in bootstrapped startups, so I spend money on things like GitHub and App.net. And since I have my own self-published e-book, I buy every independent book that I can get my hands on.
I vote with my dollar and keep my money local in hopes that others will do the same. By supporting each others work, we create a vibrant ecosystem where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.