“In short, I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility.” – EF Schumacher
When the economist E. F. Schumacher published ‘Small is Beautiful’ in 1973 he was working with the premise that sustainable economies are possible. Schumacher believed in an economy of enough, an economy which supports social and natural systems in a sustainable way. Many economists and political theorists since have supported his notion that the economy must benefit people and the environment rather than degrade it. The Italian writer, activist and ‘Good Clean and Fair’ advocate Carlo Petrini is chief among them. Carlo Petrini has proposed that small and slow economies help us eat better food, have better health, create stronger communities and live better lives.
The best way to support the slow economy is to start in your own home and community. Economy and ecology share the same greek root oikos which means home or community. Focusing energy on the local community and economy can help to create a more sustainable future worldwide. Go to the yard sales and markets, get to know the farmers and craft-workers in your village. It is possible to get the things you want from a local crafts-person just look around and see what you find. Global artisan networks like the Women’s Global Artisan Network and Ten Thousand Villages can help you research local connections.
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