A Local Peace Economy

Issue Details


What's a Local Peace Economy?

Every transaction we make in our daily lives ultimately contributes toward building a peace economy or a war economy, a world of compassion, justice and well being, or a world of indifference and violence. The peace economy model encourages us to reinvest in our local communities, in the people. It calls for creating cultural, social and economic models that cultivate a sense of respect and self-determination for all our communities. We cannot make these changes without the foundational building blocks of the very peace and justice we are seeking. The first step is realizing the impact that our daily behaviors, ideologies, actions have in local and global communities and change these in a way that reinvest in the people and the earth. Take the macro problem to the micro.

Join us in divesting from the unjust, extractive war economy into building a just peace economy for all.

PeaceEcon33.png The Local Peace Economy defined in the inspiring words of fellow allies and leaders who have already layed the fertile grounds for peace:

The foundation for world peace is building an economy where every community is self-reliant in basic needs such as food, water and energy. 

Judy Wicks, founder of BALLE, and author of Good Morning, Beautiful Business 

People who live in highly self-sufficient local communities are less likely to get involved in large-scale violence than people whose existence depends on world-wide systems of trade.

E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful 

We have created a dangerously polarized world that is linked together more closely than ever before. War is caused by our inability to see relationships to each other.

 —Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood

Start NOW!

Want to grow your local peace economy,                                                                        ...but don't know where to start?

Here is a 1-week starter guide that will help you sow the seeds to peace.

To begin you will want to set aside a special notepad or notebook where you will be jotting down notes regarding your one-week local peace economy challenge.  Your notes will help you identify and keep track of what makes you feel good, the road-blocks (if any) that you encounter and what values you want to reflect.

Each day you will have one activity or action to take that will help you lay the fertile grounds for local peace to thrive. Following the action is a journal prompt. The order in which the actions are presented is only a suggestion. Scroll through each day first and feel free to rearrange the order in which you do these activities so it may suite your individual schedule.

Keep us posted about your developement! We’re wildly interested to hear what everyone’s doing. Email us at: peaceeconomy@codepink.org


For today’s challenge instead of heading to your chain supermarket, store or coffee shop head to a local shop provider. Not sure who that is? Check out this nifty site to find out who is local near you!

How buying local helps root you in the peace economy:

Did you know? Based on Civic Economics Andersonville Study of Retail Economics, if every family in the country shifted  $10 a month to locally-owned, independent businesses instead of national chains, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to local economies. That means better schools, better roads, more support for local programs and stronger local economies.

Buying local also means a greener, cleaner earth.

 Most goods available at chain stores are products sourced from outside our local neighborhoods. These things need to be transported to a distribution center or warehouse, then to stores and your home. In addition, each stage of the life cycle of a product requires some form of transportation. Transportation by plane, truck, or rail all require the use of fossil fuels for energy, which can contribute to global climate change.

Journal Prompt: Write down how it made you feel to know where what you were purchasing came from? Do you feel any different knowing your money stayed within the confines of your neighborhood rather than a chain store that may be funding wars abroad.

Day 2: Give.

Our modern society has made the acquiring of goods and services so easy that the need for interaction with our neighbors and those around us preventable. Let us evoke our ancestral practice of gift exchange.

Create something and gift it to someone in your life (neighbor, friend, co-worker).

Suggestions: bake cupcakes or cookies, a piece of fruit or candy, flowers. Have a skill (yoga instructor? amazing hula hooper? great at knitting?) gift your time and show people your trade.

What is a a gift economy? A gift culture or gift exchange economy is a mode of exchange where valuables are not sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards.This contrasts with a barter economy or a market economy, where social norms and custom govern gift exchange. Gifts are not given in an explicit exchange of goods or services for money or some other commodity.

Did you know: Esteemed Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski's describes in his research of tribes of the Kula ring in the Trobriand Islands during World War I an extraordinary gifting economy. Members were known to travel great distances over dangerous seas to give what were considered valuable objects without any guarantee of a return.

Journal Prompt: How did it make you feel to gift freely without expecting anything in return?

Day 3: Buy smart. Organize your consumer spending to help causes that you care for.

How? Have a smartphone? Download Buycott. Buycott is a tool that lets you organize your consumer spending to help causes that you care for, and to oppose those that you don't. Scan a barcode with the Buycott app and it will look it up in our database and try to determine who owns it. Buycott will then trace the product's ownership back to its top parent company and cross-check this company against the campaigns that you've joined before telling you whether it found a conflict.

Don’t have a smartphone? Follow this link. Type in the name of some of your favorite products you shop for and see the causes they are connected with.

Journal prompt: Create 2 columns; 1 comprised of the products/companies who align with your values and another whose causes you don’t line up with your own values. Write down 3 ways in which you will make a conscience effort to not purchase from the companies who have a hand in contributing to things you do not agree with.

Day 4: Simplify.

Pick one thing from your closet and give it away. We all have that one item we’re holding on to…this is your time to get rid of it.  Something that’s been sitting in your house, unused and unloved, may bring a great deal of joy to, or fill the genuine need of, someone else.

Be eco about its disposal! Best to keep your castoffs in your community; the fewer things we ship around the globe, the better! Check out local options for your unwanted items: like churches, hospitals, schools, libraries, animal shelters, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, halfway homes, food banks, senior centers, day cares, prisons, and charity shops. Have more than one item? Organize a clothing swap with friends!

Journal Prompt: Was it difficult or easy to find something to give away?

Day 5: Go meat free in your diet for just ONE day.

How? Join CODEPINK & Planted Cuisine for a meat-free-month in September and get delicious vegan recipes emailed to you daily. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE VEGAN to join.

Did you know: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations have estimated it could be as much as 51 per cent. World scientists on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agree that we need to _reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 80 per cent by 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. To boot, it takes approximately 1,8oo gal. of water to process per pound of beef.

Journal Prompt: Reading the statistics above would it be feasible to be meat free once a month or even once a week? If so, map out the best dates to do so, and write down websites or meat-free recipes you’d like to try.

Day 6: Find your local community garden. Not sure where the nearest garden is to you? Search here and find out.

Commit to visiting this garden within the next two months and getting to know who runs it.

Journal Prompt: Consider the things that form friendships and community. Jot those things down on a list.   Do any of the things you jotted down correlate with how community gardens are structured? How may forming bonds with your neighbors lead to a more peaceful local community? What are the possible benefits of tighter knit communities? 

Day 7: Slow down. Take notice.

Pay attention to the natural environment.  It may be as simple as noticing what flowers are blooming and the way leaves fall to the ground.

Journal Prompt: What was it like to notice the little things going on around you? Jot down a few thoughts.


Sign up to receive daily Local Peace Economy inspirational emails. 




A guide and resource for facilitating conversations on peace

Menu For Peace 

Download Local Peace Economy Shareables and  Infographics

A How-To Guide for Gifting Circles

7 Ways to Divest from a Militarized Economy

A glossary of common Local Peace Economy terms

Individual and household activities

  • Buy Local — shift your purchasing to locally-owned businesses.
  • Yarnbombing — color your community with knitting!
  • Carpooling — share a ride to work or events.
  • Low Carbon Diets — source locally-produced food with minimal packaging, transport and other inputs.
  • Guerilla Gardening — see what you can grow in unused or abandoned land!
  • Clothing swaps — share unwanted clothing with others, and pick up new items just for you!

 Suggested Reading 

  • Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher 
  • Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein
  • This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

  Movies to watch with friends & family

Learn about cooperatives

  • Consumer cooperatives — not-for-profit businesses, such as banks, supermarkets or insurance agencies that are member-owned and governed.
  • Worker cooperatives — businesses that are owned and democratically self-managed by their workers and/or worker representatives.
  • Housing cooperatives — entities that own real estate and assign occupancy, and in some cases ‘ownership’ rights to fee-paying members.
  • Community Land Trusts (CLT’s) local corporations that hold land in communal trust while enabling members of the public to purchase homes on the Trust's land.
  • Local currencies — locally-created currencies, acting as alternatives to nationally-backed currencies, intended exclusively for community trade.
  • Time banks — means of exchange that use time as the commodity.

Physical infrastructure

  • Hacker spaces — community-operated workspaces where people with common interests, often in computers. 
  • Pedestrian zones - areas of a city or town reserved for pedestrian-only use.
  • Seed libraries —community institutions that lend or share seed with members of the public.
  • Community gardens - pieces of land gardened collectively by local community members. 
    Locate a community garden near you!
  • Living walls — self-sufficientvertical gardens that are attached to the exteriors or interiors of buildings.

Use these online platforms

  • Freecycle — a locally-focussed marketplace for listing items you either need or are willing to give away for free.
  • Craigslist — a simple and free, online classified-ad service for local communities.
  • Meetup - an online, social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world.
  • Community Exchange System — an online system providing the means for users to exchange goods and services, both locally and remotely.
  • Couchsurfing — a global platform for members to arrange stays as a guest at a host's home, host travelers, or join an event.
  • Appropedia — a repository of appropriate technology designs for re-localising production and industry.

Check out these events

Connect to these movements

  • Transition Towns — a global network of grassroots’ projects seeking to build local resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability.
  • Small House Movement — a return to houses less than 1,000 square feet in active support for downsizing and simple living.
  • Mankind Project - a global network of peer-facilitated men's groups.
  • Willing Workers on Organic Farms — a global network of organic farms willing to host travellers on a work-trade basis.
  • Free hugs Campaign — a global movement of people offering hugs to complete strangers.
  • Every Women Every Child - global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children. 

Allies/Board of Advisors

If you’d like more information about becoming partner, contact our campaign manager.

Here’s the full list of our friends and allies.

Board of Advisors

Birgitta Jónsdóttir
Charles Eisenstein
Deborah Frieze
Denise Kaufman
Donnie Maclucan
Elizabeth Kapu'uwailani Lindsey
Francis Moore Lappe
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Jason Dove Mark

Joan Blades
Judy Wicks
Kevin Danaher
Lauren Tucker
Nina Utne
Severine von Tscharner Fleming
Susan Witt
Toby Herzlich

International Allies

National Allies

Local Allies

Fair Trade LA - Los Angeles, CA
Hands Up United - Florissant, MO 
Kiss the Ground - Venice, CA
Occidental Ocean Song Farm - Occidental, CA 
Occupy Venice - Venice, CA
Planted Cuisine - Los Angeles, CA
Think Local First DC - Washington, DC
Two Rivers Farm - Springfield, OR
Urban Bee - San Francisco, CA

Local Peace Economy Glossary

Local Peace Economy Glossary

A NOTE from the editors:  This is a very short glossary of terms often used in the Peace Economy movement, starting with Economics. We love this definition by our ally and advisor Judy Wicks: “Economics is nothing more than human ingenuity organizing human labor to transform the natural world into new products for use by others. That process can be life-affirming, or can be degrading to those involved and to the planet itself.”

Banking and Investment Terms

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, activities, interests, and goals. In terms of banking, this is a bank that is usually locally owned and operated, serving the needs of local businesses, organizations, and families.

Cooperative: a business, farm, store, or other entity that is legally owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.

Corporate: Most banks whose signs and ads we see everywhere are huge, profit-driven financial institutions. The top 10 U.S. banks now hold $10.2 trillion in assets. These banks are not held accountable by local communities or the US government to reinvest in local businesses and make capital available for cooperatives and other locally-based non-profit organizations.

Divest-to-Invest: a process of “moving your money”, best known in the movement to divest pension and university funds from fossil fuels, but can be applied to any withdrawal of funds, individual or organizational, from the global or corporate economy to invest in the local peace economy.

Public: a movement to create “network of state and local publicly-owned banks that create affordable credit, while providing a sustainable alternative to the current high-risk centralized private banking system”. Currently the Bank of North Dakota is the only public bank in the U.S., but several municipalities are working on establishing their own.

Economic Systems

Barter Economy: a mode of trade where goods and services are exchanged, and reciprocity is expected.

Gifting Economy: a mode of exchange that is without an agreement for immediate or future reward or reciprocation. Participants in a gifting economy give as much as they can and pass it on. Gifting is a sign of care and support, not an exchange.

Globalized Economy: an international exchange of goods and services. It is comprised of different economies in individual countries, each being interrelated with the other. Globalization involves trade across international borders and the selling of commodities in markets around the world, in highly speculative methods driven by profits to the 1%.

Green Economy: an economy that has its roots in political, social and economic developments that reduce the human ecological footprint, fostering sustainability. It should be noted that this form of economy has fallen under corporate control and a reductionist approach that has received criticism for not being sufficient to cope with the complexities of climate change and enviromental degradation, and sometimes leading to Greenwashing (see below).

Sharing Economy: the redistribution, sharing and reuse of goods (such as used clothes) and services (such as car rides), often using the internet and social media, both for profit and in non-monetary transactions.

War Economy: an extractive, violent, and hierarchical economy that is lucrative to military contractors and many multinational corporations. Philippe Le Billon, researcher at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, describes the war economy as a "system of producing, mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain violence."


Greenwashing: Using targeted advertising, public relations campaigns, and celebrity spokespersons to exaggerate environmental achievements, usually by corporations, in order to divert attention away from environmental problems caused by those corporations. For example, a corporation might spend more money advertising an environmental achievement than actually putting the money into doing it.

Participatory budgeting: a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making in which community members decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget.

Knitting for Refugees


Knitting Update!


Many of us have been shaken by the enormity of the refugee crisis. 

Every day we are given more information and the numbers are overwhelming. The United Nations refugee agency has reported that the number of refugees and migrants arriving on Lesvos, Greece continues to be high, at an average of 3,300 people per day.  It is not only Syrians who are fleeing their homes. Refugees from all over the Middle East including Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan are also desperately escaping their war-torn countries. Last winter 6,000 refugees died from the cold. The young and very elderly are especially prone to hypothermia and pneumonia

In the face of suffering, how can we take action?

At CODEPINK we created the Local Peace Economy campaign because at the heart of our work is the goal of creating cultural, social and economic models that cultivate justice and a sense of respect. The next step we take after dismantling and walking away from the violent, extractive, war-based economy that allows these conditions to exist, is building up and growing the peace we seek...for not only ourselves and our own communities, but for people everywhere.

To that end...

We are launching a nationwide call to action to help deliver warmth to refugees.

Items that are in serious need include:

  • Gloves, dark colored hats/beanies and socks.
  • 100% wool items are preferred, because warmth is a priority, and acrylic can be a fire risk for people living without electricity and in close proximity to open flames, as many refugees do.
  • If you are someone who sews, you can also make reusable menstrual pads, which are also in dire need.  

**Items must be delivered by Friday March 18th 2016.

Please feel free to also visit our Knitting for Refugees Pinterest Board for images, additional patterns and design inspiration.

Here are a few suggestions for starting:

  1. Do you knit, crochet or sew or have someone in life who does? Tell them about our call to action & how they can use their skills to help provide comfort and relief for refugees. 
  2. Gather a group of friends and organize a party around making items for refugees. Invite others in your community to join you by creating a Facebook event.
  3. Click here to find your local knitting, sewing or crocheting group near you and suggest this as project for the group to take on. You can also find groups here.
  4. Download our Knitting for Refugees Guide and hand it out at your gathering.
  5. Deliver our flyer to a knitting store near you.

We will support you by posting your event in our Action Calendarso you may share the event link & use it to invite your community and friends.

DON’T FORGET to submit & post pictures of your gatherings, and images of your finished products to your own Facebook page or Twitter account using the hashtags #knit4refugees and #peaceeconomy.

*Every Friday in the month of February we will select our favorite photo submissions and feature them on our national CODEPINK Facebook page

**Items must arrive to our offices by this date. To ensure timely delivery we suggest mailing packages at least one week prior (the week of March 6th or earlier). Items will be packed, and personally delivered to refugees by one of our CODEPINK staffers who will be in Lesvos to volunteer for a week in late March supporting refugees migrating into Greece.

Packages can be sent to:

3749 Buchanan Street #142
San Francisco, CA 94123


Please email peaceeconomy@codepink.org.

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