Search This Blog

Thursday 1 December 2011

Self Reliance

It's not rocket science, self sufficiency breeds sustainability. We had it once but we seem to have lost it in the last generation or so. Check out this piece over at the online Independent for one perspective.

Have we forgotten how to be self reliant or do we just not care any more?


  1. Ryan...the self-sufficiency model is one that can and will work in rural parts of this province. It needs to be nurtured and supported by the people who actually live there, however, and I see that as a bit of a problem right now. We see it all the time in what I call the "Walmart mentality". We go to larger centres for the cut-rate prices from Wlamart and essentially crowd out our own small businesses. There is, unfortunately, an envy by some in small towns toward those who do try to operate a business and some locals will not support.

    Don't get me wrong: a lot of people will and we need to make it a priority to get the message out to everyone that locally grown products and services are vitally improtant to the sustainability of our communities. Their survival depends on it and we need to think in terms of local consumption, local products, and local area shopping.

    One problem I encounter in trying to get back to buying as many locally-produced produts as possible is that both products and services are sometimes not easy to locate or obtain. For example, there are wonderful building products produed locally or at least within the province and some of our local stores do not carry these products. I find myself having to shop in other communities for these products. On the one hand, I am buying locally in a provincial sense but not locally in terms of my community.

    Also, local businesses are trying to compete and are forced to purchase product from overseas due to cost pressures while we could be using more "Made Right...Here" products. Let's take, for example, laminate flooring that comes primarily from China. Why not buy spruce or birch flooring, locally made, that is pre-stained. I see these products but pre-staining is not a feature I know of locally. I see lots of birch in the central area but very limited production for flooring.

    If some is produced locally, I'd like to be aware of it. This is an area that our provincial government needs to, and should, be promoting. I feel that their focus has become big oil and megaprojects of questionable benefit, namely Muskrat Falls, and they are negelecting the small stable ,mmanufacturing industries that are based on our natural resources.

    Cyril Rogers, Robert's Arm, NL

  2. Hey Cyril.
    We need to invest and promote locally produced items. the best example of this would be in agriculture. We don't support the local agriculture scene as we should. This applies to both Government and residents.

    As you say it extends to many other realms as well. We make a lot of great products here that people would be willing to pay a little more for but we often don't know about them or can't find them.

    On a community basis we need to get back to supporting eachother and understanding that everyone in a community has something to offer. We just have to figure out how to take proper advantage of that. I've written about John McKnight from the US and his ideas on Asset Based Community Development are the best I've heard and we need to head in that direction if we want to really build better communities.

  3. Nicce blog thanks for posting