Buy Locally and Share Locally

I live in one of those neighborhoods in which the sense of community is one of the reasons that people choose to live here. It’s not so over-the-top that it’s annoying, it’s just that people like it here and are proud to be a resident. I was impressed when I moved to town that the neighborhood has a listserv, a very active one in fact. I’m not sure how common this is, but the neighborhood listserv wasn’t something that I experienced before. It’s surprisingly informative, and often times a good source of entertainment. We get a full range of topics from your standard updates on road construction and gripes about traffic noise, to reports of rare bird sightings (including a full debate on the exact species and migration patterns) and advice on how to remove ice dams (we’re in MN ya know).

My favorite posts are ones in which people reach out to their neighbors for the things they need or offer up stuff they no longer use. People loan jumper cables for stalled cars, borrow baby gear for visiting grandchildren, sell you-name-it to whoever wants it, and move ladders from house to house. One woman even asked to borrow a shawl for a costume, and received 6 offers in response!

It’s so great to see that people are motivated to do things just for the sake of being a good neighbor. This is what gives our neighborhood the sense of community we seek, and it’s part of the reason we moved here in the first place. It feels good to know that I’m surrounded by people that are willing to do the little things for others that make life a little easier.

I have found that this is true when it comes time to make a purchase as well. Not only do I want to support my local businesses, but I want to support my local households looking to make a little cash by selling things they no longer need. I’m also more inclined to share things I use infrequently if it’s with someone in the community. These folks might be strangers, but it’s somehow different when they are strangers who I consider to be neighbors. There’s a desire to want buy locally and share locally in an effort to support our neighborhood.

So, it saddens me to say that certain members of the listserv have deemed these posts to be solicitation and therefore not appropriate for this forum. Therefore, goal is to get my entire neighborhood to use Neighborgoods (http://www.neighborgoods.net) and/or Rentalic (http://rentalic.com). It might take some folks some time to adjust, but I think they will find the sharing to be addicting!