Living local is to embrace living in the present time and place. Use the resources that you have here and now, instead of coveting the ones that are “there” and “far”. By doing so, you are using less fuel to transport things or yourself to the “there” and “far” and releasing less CO2 into the atmosphere. Besides, it is mentally healthier to be satisfied by what is available and within your reach than to pine over things that are beyond your reach.
#1. Markets and local businesses
Support your town’s economy by shopping locally. Dollars spent within the confines of a town mean better infrastructure for that town, a stronger community, and a raise in the general life quality as citizens get to know each other. By spending resources in a local business, you’re supporting your neighbors, instead of big companies who are interested in making profit off the poorer classes.
Eat according to season and location. This helps keep nature healthy by eating produce at its right time (instead of forcing tomatoes to grow in the winter), keeps you healthy by forcing you to accept a variety of foods into your diet instead of always eating the same products year-round, and keeps the atmosphere healthy by not transporting foods from all over the world. Keeping things simple is all the more power to the environment.
If you’re a continent traveler like I am, this will make more sense to you. This isn’t a call to cut ties with hearts that you have left behind on different continents – it’s an appeal for integration with your current community. As hard as it is to quite literally move on, solely relying on relationships that are suddenly far away have damaging effects. Find out who your neighbors are. Join a community service, such as a fundraiser, a church, a volunteer event. Enroll in a class. You might not make life-long friends, or agree with anybody there, but having social contact is vital for your health. Do your best to make local relationships, and your traveling frequency might diminish.
Too many people travel abroad without exploring their own backyards. There is enough beauty in every creek, every sunset, every night sky to satisfy those avid for beauty; there is enough wonder in your town’s history, culture, and people to inspire you. If you are bored with your surroundings, try visiting the local museum, researching and cooking a dish, waking up at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise. Visit the local park, the café at the corner, the old abandoned building. Explore your own area. Become enamoured by what you already have.