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: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAY 1: STAY LOCAL.
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.
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