Local Sustainability Corner By Val White Columnist
It’s 1990, well before Facebook or even e-mail. Fast food giant McDonald’s announced it would discontinue using Styrofoam based clamshell food containers due to negative environmental impact. “Public pressure” was announced as the cause, much of the credit going to several environmental organizations. Those of us who “voted with our dollars” know better. I was one of those people who somehow heard about this “boycott McDonalds” campaign and voted by spending my money elsewhere. I was not alone, as I may have felt. There were tens of thousands of us across America, and though we put just a small dent in McDonald’s giant pocketbook, it hurt enough to power the change. More powerful than any other influence Americans have is where and how we spend our money. You buy it, you vote yes to everything associated with that product or service. With all that said, the most powerful “vote” you can make in New Hampshire is to “vote” local with your dollars.
Dinner? Easy to do in Weare. Buy beef, chicken or pork all raised in town. Grab some veggies at the winter or summer Farmers Market, add fresh herbs for flavor. How about fresh bread, eggs, milk, maple syrup and coffee for a “French toast” breakfast? All of this, and more, are available locally.
Computer repair? Music lessons? Clothes? Fitness help? These, and more, are available in small businesses right here in town, many home based.
Why bother? If the Market Basket shut down taught us anything this past summer, and the Wall Street bailout, we should have learned how fragile and dangerous it is to put all our eggs in one basket economically with centralized sources for products we need to survive.
Keep money in New Hampshire, instead of corporate headquarters somewhere else. Support your neighbor for eggs, a repair or local lumber. They will support you. With many supports, if one fails, the structure still stands. That’s called a sustainable community.
Bananas don’t grow here, and other items we need and enjoy. You can still “vote” carefully with your dollars. Need information? Stay tuned. Share ideas? Contact Val White at firstname.lastname@example.org