Hello Greenlisters and friends,
In our first newsletter for the year, it would be easy to wail and gnash our teeth about the state of the planet and the climate emergency. But instead, we’ve decided to take inspiration from the bush – and one particular part of the bush – and talk about resilience.
Last October, resident of Warren in NSW, farmer’s wife and a mother of small children, Grace Brennan, sat at her kitchen table and started an Instagram account called #buyfromthebush.
If you haven’t already heard of it, #buyfromthebush is a grassroots social media campaign urging city people to buy directly from producers, artists, artisans and retailers in rural and regional Australia at a time when, arguably, the bush has never needed more help.
The campaign has been phenomenally successful. In its first six weeks, it generated $2.6 million worth of revenue for featured businesses, created 25 jobs in rural communities because of increased sales, while more than $320,000 was spent at Australia Post’s regional franchises. And that was all before the Christmas rush.
The campaign has opened up a conversation linking city and country; a conversation not between politicians and business moguls, but between the people. It was a small idea that, because of its simplicity (see it; like it; buy it) and its generosity, has grown to become a big retail movement.
Grace says #buyfromthebush isn’t about charity; it is about re-directing the power of the consumer to unique retail businesses in rural areas that city people wouldn’t otherwise discover. It’s an investment in rural sustainability.
In her 2020 Australia Day address, Grace asked everyone to tell a different story about the bush – not the story of soul-destroying drought and ravishing bushfires – but a story that connect all Australians to the bush and makes us feel pride not pity for those who live there.
We could easily make resilience our war cry for 2020. And as Grace says, not everything important has to start in the boardroom. Great things can happen at the kitchen table.
At The Green List, we have already joined the global movement towards sustainable business. Help us keep the momentum going.
Thank you all for your support, and here’s some ideas to keep you on the sustainable path.