Many people are interested in consuming locally. There are many benefits in buying what you need from your community. Locally made products and produce are desired because the monies flow seamlessly back into the community in which they are produced. These products are transported less distance. You may even be able to develop a relationship with the producer of your purchase such as at a Farmer's Market.
But, have you ever considered hiring locally?
The average American spends one week per year stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. That is a significant amount of lost time. In Beijing, the average car commute is 5 hours per day! Recently, in China, there was a hundred mile traffic jam that took 11 days to clear.
According to Bill Ford, before his grandfather Henry Ford began marketing the Model T Ford to the middle class, most people did not leave a 25 mile radius their whole lives. Traffic today is an annoyance but it could become a human rights issue if we cannot move goods and services around our cities in a timely way.
With 800 million cars on the road worldwide today, expected to increase to 2-4 billion by 2050, clearly doing nothing to relieve our traffic woes is not an option.
In planning for our future in Nashville, we must realize that our city is changing rapidly. By 2035, our region will be larger than the size of the Denver region is right now - that's the magnitude of growth for which we must plan.
Hiring locally ensures that tax dollars are invested back into the local economy and reduces the environmental impact of commuting.
Local hiring means residents can work closer to home, spending less time traveling to and from their jobs. As Robert D. Putnam notes in book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, each additional ten minutes spent commuting leads to a ten percent decline in all areas of civic engagement. Therefore, local hiring may be one tool municipalities can use to increase community involvement.
The environmental benefit of local hiring comes principally because employing a greater percentage of local workers leads to shorter commutes and a greater ability to walk, bike, and take public transit to work. This results in reductions in air pollution, including greenhouse gases.
Consider hiring locally.
Shade Parade Nashville & The Sidewalk Foundation are commited to creating better access to high quality, well designed sidewalks.
The Sidewalk Foundation is the non-profit arm of Shade Parade Nashville. We are currently accepting donations to fund individual sidewalk projects in Nashville. Our first project is to complete the sidewalk on Bowling Av to its terminus at Woodmont.
A blog about the state of sidewalks in Nashville