The point of Fresh(river valley) is to explore the many ways we can live more sustainably — and consider how sustainability might prove to be a good response to our current economic woes.
The term “sustainable” typically refers to an action or thing that is green, eco-friendly or renewable. Think green building, organic farming, photovoltaics. But advocates of “localism” also use “sustainable” to describe economic activity that, rather than requiring continual growth (like increased year-over-year profits), builds long-term economic stability. For example, a sustainable business (say, a restaurant) might source locally (buy produce from local farms) to support other local businesses and help everyone stay in business. A shopper may buy holiday gifts at stores in his or her own town to help the stores stay in business, increase the amount of times gift dollars circulate through the town’s economy and reduce the carbon emissions associated with the shopping trip.
It is, of course, very possible to support a strong, stable local economy while also opting for greener, more sustainable choices in what we buy, make or discard. I’d like to believe that if more of us commit to this approach to living, we can renew our economy — one community at a time — while also improving our environment and restoring our very American sense that we have the power (quite a lot of it) to help ourselves and others.