While “Think Globally: Act Locally” was a great slogan, like all great slogans its reverberation was louder than its conversion into action, for most of us. I mean, how often do you talk to your next door neighbours. Do you even know their forenames?
Slightly less locally is easier to deal with. Buying locally, that kind of thing. Buying our energy from green energy suppliers who make energy from wind and water. Ensuring that we don’t overconsume petrol, using fewer plastic bags. All the stuff that’s by now pretty much common practise, or if it isn’t, very much should be!
But when local communities work together there are all kinds of benefits. People feel involved and are much more aware of the value of their contribution. It’s partly a social as well as an environmental exercise. Working with local communities also counteracts the illusion that in the modern world eveything is all the same wherever you go. We are still a culturally diverse nation and long may it continue.
So it warmed my heart just a little bit to read that Sustainable Development Commission has produced a report entitled The Future is Local: Empowering communities to improve their neighbourhoods. It’s inspirational stuff, this, with an eye to the future and some real food for thought for the present. Read more about it on the Defra Civil Society blog.