What's a Local Peace Economy?
Judy Wicks, founder of BALLE, says in her book, Good Morning, Beautiful Business, the foundation for world peace is building an economy where every community is self-reliant in basic needs such as food, water and energy.
E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful once said, "People who live in highly self-sufficient local communities are less likely to get involved in large-scale violence than people whose existence depends on world-wide systems of trade."
In her new book, Fields of Blood, Karen Armstrong says, “We have created a dangerously polarized world that is linked together more closely than ever before. War is caused by our inability to see relationships to each other.”
We need to build a global community that cultivates a sense of respect for all people, and takes responsibility for the suffering we see in the world. We can begin by strengthening our relationships at home to build much-needed patterns of caring, sharing and respect. Sometimes the problems seem so big that we take our power and energy and direct them at the manifestation of the problem, but change needs to begin at the micro level. We cannot make these changes without the foundational building blocks of the very peace we are seeking. We do so by taking the macro problem to the micro.
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How can you pull out of the War Economy?
- Sign up to be part of the peace economy in your community!
- Question your own participation in the War Economy
- Learn what is happening locally that models a peace economy
- Invite friends and neighbors to join you in the conversation.
- Organize a pot luck
- Initiate clothing swaps
- Host an "Offers and Needs Tea" or Picnic
Join our Team!
Share your stories and ideas with us and your community
CODEPINK is building tools and ways to connect, learn, share and create together, and we have only just begun!
Let's begin by asking what are the values and practices of a Peace Economy? Building a Peace Economy starts locally. People and the planet matter—they are not for extraction, for labor on subsistence wages, or for profit. Let's become aware of our individualism and create practices that produce results for the needs of our community, collectively.
Email us your story! Let's share what we have learned from each other and what we have planned to help our communities move forward!
We will offer articles, movies and books to build our own knowledge, including stories from places like Costa Rica and Cuba. Get involved with the following exciting initiatives, to help create a local peace economy:
Practices and intentional activities
Buy Local — shift your purchasing to locally-owned businesses.
- Yarnbombing — color your community with knitting!
- Carpooling — share a ride to work or events.
- Low Carbon Diets — source locally-produced food with minimal packaging, transport and other inputs.
- Guerilla Gardening — see what you can grow in unused or abandoned land!
- Clothing swaps — share unwanted clothing with others, and pick up new items just for you!
Models of trade and custodianship
- Consumer cooperatives — not-for-profit businesses, such as banks, supermarkets or insurance agencies that are member-owned and governed.
- Worker cooperatives — businesses that are owned and democratically self-managed by their workers and/or worker representatives.
- Housing cooperatives — entities that own real estate and assign occupancy, and in some cases ‘ownership’ rights to fee-paying members.
- Community Land Trusts (CLT’s) local corporations that hold land in communal trust while enabling members of the public to purchase homes on the Trust's land.
- Local currencies — locally-created currencies, acting as alternatives to nationally-backed currencies, intended exclusively for community trade.
- Time banks — means of exchange that use time as the commodity.
- Hacker spaces — community-operated workspaces where people with common interests, often in computers, machining, technology, science, digital or electronic art, can meet, socialize and collaborate.
- Pedestrian zones - areas of a city or town reserved for pedestrian-only use.
- Seed libraries —community institutions that lend or share seed with members of the public.
Community gardens - pieces of land gardened collectively by local community members.
Locate a community garden near you!
- Living walls — self-sufficientvertical gardens that are attached to the exteriors or interiors of buildings.
- Wetlands - land areas that are saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that they take on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem.
- Freecycle — a locally-focussed marketplace for listing items you either need or are willing to give away for free.
- Craigslist — a simple and free, online classified-ad service for local communities.
- Meetup - an online, social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world.
- Community Exchange System — an online system providing the means for users to exchange goods and services, both locally and remotely.
- Couchsurfing — a global platform for members to arrange stays as a guest at a host's home, host travelers, or join an event.
- Appropedia — a repository of appropriate technology designs for re-localising production and industry.
- Earth Hour (March 19) — An annual event encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour.
- Earth Day (April 22) — the day that launched the modern environmental movement and continues to shine a spotlight on ecological sustainability.
- Clean up the World (3rd weekend in September)— a global day of local garbage clean-ups, tree planting and ecological awareness raising.
- Free Money Day (September 15) — a global event where people hand out their own money, two notes or coins at a time, to complete strangers.
- Buy Nothing Day (November 28) — a global day to support anti-consumerism by buying nothing.
- Take Back the Night (throughout the year) — a series of global marches, rallies and vigils intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual violence.
- Critical Mass Bike Rides — directs you to a ride near you.
Movements and Methods
- Transition Towns — a global network of grassroots’ projects seeking to build local resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability.
- Small House Movement — a return to houses less than 1,000 square feet in active support for downsizing and simple living.
- Mankind Project - a global network of peer-facilitated men's groups.
- Participatory budgeting - a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making in which community members decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget.
- Willing Workers on Organic Farms — a global network of organic farms willing to host travellers on a work-trade basis.
- Free hugs — a global movement of people offering hugs to complete strangers.