Living and working locally has many benefits, including contributing to the economy of your own neighborhood, the opportunity to help small businesses and independent farmers, and the chance to start reducing your footprint on the earth. While some people can't imagine life without a commute, it can be empowering to make a big change and reap the positive benefits at the same time.
Part of living locally includes making a conscious effort to get everything you need from the area you call home and working outward. Instead of shopping online and using valuable resources like fuel and packaging, look for it at a store or seller near you. While you won't always be able to do this, you might be able to find an alternative that will work just as well.
Living and working locally can have a positive effect on your health, as well. Many areas rely on locally-sourced produce from neighborhood farmers, which can be a much healthier organic alternative to store-bought or canned vegetables and fruit. Not only will you enjoy the benefits of fresh items, you'll be helping to sustain a local farm. Additionally, living close to work means you may be able to chuck your car and take a bike or walk instead. This will save you money while working to help the environment.
One major benefit of staying close to home is local tax income. Businesses of all sizes pay a large amount of taxes every year, and the more successful businesses there are in your area, the more money your city will have to pay for new roads, signage, schools, and upkeep.
If you aren't able to find a reasonable place to live that is close to where you work, you might consider volunteering in your own neighborhood. Libraries, small businesses, hospitals, and animal shelters are always happy to have help. This ensures that you are doing your part to live and work in your community even if you aren't earning your money there. You can also help spread the word about small local businesses to urge outside commerce. Bringing money in locally helps everyone in the long run.
Getting involved in your community takes some effort, but it won't go unrewarded. If you live in a very small town that doesn't have a movie theater, for instance, find out what you can do to help raise money for one. The revenue will be great for local income and the citizens of your town will thank you later. Or, if you are involved in local government, consider organizing a county fair that relies on donations from local businesses. All the money raised could go to something for the town, such as an upgrade to a park playground.
Photo via Pixabay by xusenru