Around the world, people are discovering ways to bring the economy back home, to a more human scale. And on 21 June, we take the opportunity to celebrate all those efforts to build an economy of human happiness.
On World Localisation Day, 21 June, we celebrate community gardens, credit unions, small businesses, community energy projects and neighbourhood sharing initiatives, and all other local initiatives aimed at strengthening community ties, improving human wellbeing and building a more sustainable society.
And we believe that our work is part of this worldwide movement that is inviting us to see the world in a different way.
Global Action Plan was set up around the central idea that we need a radical change to human consumption patterns across the globe if we want to avoid irreversible destruction of our planet. The founders of GAP used computer modelling to demonstrate that if we can change the behaviours of people in rich countries, this can pave the way for a more sustainable future.
One of our most iconic projects is the GLAS garden in Ballymun. Here, we welcome people of all backgrounds to come and discover the power of growing your own food – and discover the pleasures of working with nature.
A broken food system
In the GLAS garden, we encourage people to grow their own food – and we teach them how to do it.
There are many reasons why it is a good idea to try and grow your own food, even if it’s just a few heads of lettuce in your window sill.
“By growing some food ourselves, we start to create a more meaningful, sensible and simpler relationship with real food. The more we connect with whole foods grown in the living soil, the more alien the processed gunk seems to be. Once you start growing, a myriad of other benefits present themselves. It is a purposeful, optimistic, mindful activity that gets you out of your head and in to your hands. It gives you access to the very best, seasonal organic produce with zero food miles. Food growers eat with the seasons and, as a result, they are eating food that is at its most nutritious and most delicious.” – Michael Kelly, founder of Grow It Yourself (GIY) Ireland
And growing your own food lessens your dependence on vulnerable (and polluting) global supply chains.
“The climate crisis demands an immediate shift away from a resource-intensive, polluting global economy – the same economy responsible for the unconscionable gap between rich and poor. In this context, localisation – a way of bringing the economy home – is a systemic way to address our most pressing global problems.” – Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of Local Futures.
By localising our food systems, we can:
- Produce much more (and better quality) food;
- Strengthen local supply-chains and bolster food security;
- Support job-rich small farms and businesses;
- Increase transparency, accountability and ethical production;
- Reweave the fabric of community – the fabric on which social cohesion and healthy individual identities are built;
- Cut out the waste, resource-use and emissions inherent in the global food system;
- Stimulate diversification on the land – healing ecosystems, rebuilding soils and drawing down carbon;
- Strengthen place-based knowledge systems;
- Reconnect to nature and the living world.