How to be a ‘Localist’ in the Delaware River Valley: Go DIY

This is the second in a six-part series on the connections between “going local” and living sustainably.

With Hurricane Sandy heading straight for our area, there’s reason to fear power outages, food shortages and floods that could displace us or our neighbors for an extended period of time. It’s all very unnerving. But maybe it also provides a valuable lesson: At a time when extreme weather is becoming much more common, it pays to become self-sufficient.

Self-sufficiency, for both individuals and entire communities, is at the heart of localism. One of the ways to become self-sufficient, from a localism perspective, is to engage in what localist economists call “import replacement.” This basically means making things yourself (or locally) that you (or your community) used to buy from someplace else.

Or, put another way, it’s about a DIY way of life. Read more


How to be a ‘Localist’ in the Delaware River Valley: Buy Local

This is the first in a six-part series on the connections between “going local” and living sustainably.

Are you a “localist”? The answer may be “yes” if you make an effort to buy food, gifts and necessities from businesses that are independent and locally owned.

Why buy local?

Imagine living in a part of the country where “shopping” involves pulling on and off busy highways and fighting for parking spots in strip malls just so you can peruse the aisles of mass-market chain stores where most of the merchandise comes from far-away lands. Of course, it’s easy to escape that fate here in the Delaware River Valley. You can Read more

DelVal Gardeners’ Fall Harvest Offers Two Ways to Get More Sustainable

As the Delaware River Valley takes on subtle shades of fall color, many gardeners experience mixed feelings about the end of another growing season. There’s less work ahead in the colder months, but also less access to fresh, local food and other garden bounty.

Fortunately, there’s still time to enjoy the fruits of your gardening labors. In fact, if your motivations for gardening include not only having access to delicious, healthy food, but also making your lifestyle more financially sustainable by reducing what you need to buy, fall is a great time to double-down on your sustainable lifestyle goals. Read more