by Sonja Bolton of SJB LLC
Featured Image by John Sepe Photography
When a community is cemented with solid connections, we can bring each other along to grow and thrive together.
Improving local living means thinking in innovative ways and being swept up in the inspiration by other local change makers.
One of my favorite local mentors always said, “the enemy of good is better.” He wasn’t saying we were doing a poor job. He was inspiring us to think, collaborate, learn and explore. He meant: Don’t settle for the way things are done but rather strive for the better things in life.
That’s exactly what these awesome local change makers are doing. They are improving the quality of life for the people in their community. And that’s inspiring for all entrepreneurs. So if you’ve been itching to infuse your small business with some fresh ideas, let me share a few innovative ways “local” gets even better thanks to these bold thinkers.
Branding Monadnock for the Greater Good
The Greater Keene and Peterborough Chamber has launched a Monadnock Region Branding Initiative to show off what’s incredible about local living in the gorgeous, cultural, foodie friendly, artsy part of New Hampshire where Owl & Pen is based. This action has started with a community survey to identify exactly what makes living in Monadnock so awesome and how this sweet little corner of the world is authentic and distinct.
With all that data, the Keene Chamber plans to produce “compelling creative tools” to share the uniqueness of Monadnock with visitors, businesses and residents. They believe the Monadnock Region’s greatest strengths deserve to be preserved and highlighted. In order to make a lasting positive impact in the world around us, we must start as we mean to go on.
Lastly, they hope to facilitate an intentional rebranding of our “preferred future” to help shape who we become as a community. The idea is this: The more the region’s attractive, engaging brand stands out against the fabric of the world, the stronger our community will become. Pretty neat, huh? Well, here are some stellar examples of change makers building the strength of that local brand.
Happy Hogs to Share
Archway Farm recently began a popular Meat Share Program that is changing the way locals get their groceries. Kind of like a CSA share, consumers commit to purchasing a month’s worth of high-quality, locally-raised meat products processed right there on the farm. And when I say high quality, these hogs and poultry are living their best life. Archway Farm is Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) by a Greener World with requirements such as animal welfare, pasture-based farming and sustainability.
Archway Farms also collaborates with other local food producers for specialty add-on items like additional meats, Frisky Cow gelato and fish products. They’re making it easy for folks to eat locally. Needless to say, sustainable farming and happy local hogs are great for the environment too!
Get Locally Dressed
Think your clothes have to come from some unknown source overseas? Think again. Locally Dressed has taken on a 365-day challenge to wear only locally-made and sourced or secondhand clothing. This means Mary Ewell, the woman behind the challenge, is investing in beautiful garments made from materials grown on local farms and processed in local mills.
Locally Dressed is prompting a conversation about sustainable fashion and demonstrating how our everyday choices can affect climate change and the well-being of fellow world citizens. Follow this journey on Facebook or join in the fun!
Photo by Kelly Fletcher Photography
Ending Emissions from Local Food Waste
Speaking of fun, guess who has diverted over 200,000 pounds of food and organic waste from the landfill?? Elm City Compost Initiative is making nutrient-rich soil from our trash! Did you know that food waste accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions? And that in the U.S., 30 million tons of food waste is thrown away every year?
Recently, local coffee purveyor, Prime Roast, was excited to share the news that they had partnered with ECC to reduce food waste. With ECC, businesses and residents can fight climate change and stop putting compostable waste in the landfill. Instead, they use it to rebuild our soils and store used carbon where plants can reuse it. ECC will pick up your compost or you can shop while you drop it off at the Monadnock Food Co-op.
Local Plants for Local Pollinators
One of my personal favorite ways to make Monadnock stronger and more beautiful is by promoting habitat for its most vulnerable residents, its pollinators. Healthy Home Habitats helps local residents design and create environmentally sensitive yards and gardens for ecological sustainability.
Healthy Home Habitats features native plantings that provide necessary food and shelter for native bees, butterflies, moths and more. At the same time using plants that are naturally adept at surviving locally. With stronger root systems and hardiness, natives are frequently better at thriving with less water and nutrient input. It’s a win-win for homeowner and pollinator.
Photo by Sonja Bolton
Get Your Local On Today
“Going local“ builds strong communities. It links neighbors together and fuels well-being through vital communication pathways accessed within local networks.
It motivates people to support one another, believe in each other, and form bonds of mutual trust.
In a world where it’s easy to look past “local,” take a closer look at the awesome ways other small businesses are making their local more beautiful to be a part of it. You just might find your next innovative idea!