= LocalMart is a marketplace for sustainable, locally produced goods and services, using an alternative currency for payment, and having the objective of creating sustainable self sufficient local economies.
URL = http://www.localmart.net/
Welcome to LocalMart where members of the your community can provide and purchase locally produced sustainable goods and services. We aim to not only increase the sustainability and self sufficiency of our local communities but also serve as an example to others of how local commitment to the cause of sustainability can improve quality of life today while leaving behind a better world for those who follow tomorrow.
LocalMart consists of five elements. The first is a social networking site where members can learn of LocalMart news and events, set up their own page with photo and personal information (viewable only by other members), easily communicate with other members, start or join groups (e.g. Sustainable Food Group, Sustainable Clothing Group), start or participate in blogs, and otherwise achieve a greater sense of community while participating in local sustainable commerce.
The second element is the LocalMart online store. It is on this site where member/providers (providers) can list and display their products and services and where member/customers (customers) can make purchases and otherwise interact with the providers. The store uses an alternative currency, convertible back into dollars, enabling the elimination of transaction fees, and the alternative currency also makes it possible to conduct off line and in person transactions using mobile phones.
The third element consists of LocalMart affiliate stores which are actual retail locations that carry LocalMart products for the local communities in which they serve. They offer a delivery service within the boundaries of their respective communities.
The fourth element is Better World Workshop (BWW), an actual workshop with also an online presence. BWW is an incubator for the conception and development of ideas for sustainable products and services which can be freely used by LocalMart providers in order to offer the widest range of locally produced, sustainable offerings to LocalMart customers.
The fifth element is MicroLendingNetwork, whose mission is to make alternative currency microloans to eligible individuals or businesses that are developing or producing sustainable products or services that can be offered on a local level through LocalMart affiliates.
Localizing our commerce involves much more than simply creating a local currency or barter club or patronizing local merchants rather than distant ones, for the products that local merchants sell may not be produced locally. LocalMart has a "from the ground up" philosophy which encourages the formation of numerous and varied local businesses that can produce sustainable products and services on even the smallest scale, but which in aggregate result in significant gains in sustainability and local self sufficiency. Many of the business ideas that we have proposed (Business Ideas) are designed so that even the busiest people with full time jobs, and/or their children, relatives or friends, can produce some useful, sustainable product or service that can be sold within their community. Rather than be just consumers, LocalMart members are encouraged to become providers and contribute toward localization by helping to "close the loop." The role of LocalMart is to operate local affiliate websites which make all of this possible and practical by providing a means to conduct local sustainable commerce with an easy set up process, no sign up fees and no transaction fees (made possible by use of an alternative currency, convertible back into dollars. The LocalMart alternative currency also makes it possible to conduct off line and in person transactions using mobile phones.)
Two central themes of LocalMart are specialization and convenience. Simply stated, if Member A is adept at installing greywater systems and Member B is adept at growing tomatoes, then it is more practical for each member to specialize than for each to undertake both activities. (Of course, globalization also involves specialization, but carried to an extreme where there are many negative consequences. Localization can involve specialization, but without most of these negative consequences.) Convenience can be illustrated as follows. To set up a greywater system, Member B might read articles, purchase required tools and materials, and install the system in the crawl space and the exterior of her residence . If Member A offers a service to consult on the most appropriate greywater system, to design and install a complete turn-key system, and to periodically service it, then it is likely that many more successful greywater systems will be installed than would otherwise be the case. Consequently, LocalMart providers are encouraged to offer solutions which emphasize convenience, and this in turn allows the proliferation of many worthwhile projects that might otherwise remain on one's "To Do" list indefinitely."