Coupon Book Shelved for 2018

9 01 2018

Technology and New Projects Combined to bring the inevitable – Change.

Several years ago, Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, one of the leading ‘Buy Local’ programs around the country, announced it was going to ‘take some time off’ from its annual coupon book to focus on other projects.  We scoffed and relished in the strength of our book, and the solidarity of our community.

Then comes the inevitable rise in printing costs.  As well as a radical re-thinking of marketing budgets in every industry.  And a lot of small businesses not surviving the recession.  Suddenly, the cost of producing the coupon book is 30% MORE than you are collecting in fees from participating businesses.  And 30% of the people who used to buy the book just don’t seem to any more.  Suddenly, the folks in Bellingham seem like prophets.

And we had one further factor they didn’t.  Our new project, Living Local, offers an advertising avenue for businesses who don’t do coupons.  And even for coupons- Living Local has full color, and ten times the number of coupons at the same price.  We kind of took our own thunder.

So wisely the board of directors opted to shelve the book for 2018, and evaluate other projects and products to promote and support Localism.  You’ll be hearing about and seeing those in the coming months.




The Fortnightly RAVE

13 12 2017

Publisher Joe Hyer, circa 1859 – or at least dressed for 1859, at Olympia’s sesquicentannial, circa 2009

December 13, 2017

My first RAVE – to all of you.  Almost 25% of our emails were OPENED in the first issue – and we have neglected our email lists for months and months and months.  So Raves to you, readers.

   Second – many of you keep asking, ‘Why Fortnightly’ and not ‘Biweekly’?  The easy answer – a fortnight is 14 days.  Biweekly means EITHER every other week OR twice a week.  Since we didn’t want everyone waiting (with baited breath) by their inboxes twice weekly in confusion, we went with the precise term – a fortnight. 

  The more fun answer – it’s an homage to the New Hampshire Gazette, published continuously since 1756.  It’s Portsmouth’s version local printed newspaper.  I actually subscribed for many years, and had it mailed to me, because it was fun to read.  Many of the ideas and columns you see in Living Local were inspired by things I read in the Gazette.   Learn more at

  And in every issue of that paper, they feature the publisher doing the Fortnightly Rant – whatever the publisher is angry about that week, and wants to spew on.  And while I am not afraid to point out problems and rant a bit- for the focus to be so negative – it just doesn’t fit our vibe.

   Hence, the Fortnightly Rave.  Things to celebrate, and be Happy about. Or taste good.


Rave #1 – To the people of Alabama.  THANK YOU.  I shall sing your praises for weeks.  While we may still be divided, you showed that civility, decorum, compassion and empathy still do matter, and will triumph in the end.  And perhaps it is just beginning, and someday we will talk about a different ‘Crimson Tide’ that swept the nation with civility and equality.

Rave #2 – To non-profit Boardmembers everywhere.  I serve on several, and work with several more, and know firsthand how much time and commitment it takes.  Most boards are starved for good, active volunteers to serve.  So to all of you that serve on one – THANKS.  For those that serve on several, Super-Thanks.  For those of you that don’t yet serve — a new year is coming, so think about giving of yourself in service.  You also learn a great deal.  In fact, Sustainable South Sound is on the lookout for new boardmembers – if interested,contact Rachel Friedman –

Rave #3 – Local Food Systems – the City of Olympia adopting a commitment to community gardens, another successful Food Issue in Living Local, and a new Food Summit this past fall to move us into the future.  Great strides are being made to EAT local, and it shows.


Rave #4 – Many Buy Local members and Localists have gotten to know Zac  Bowen, who began as our office assistant, went on to write, do photography, manage membership and sales, and keep SSS organized.  After two and a half years, Zac is headed back to Evergeen full-time to get his Bachelor’s degree.  The good news is Zac will still be out and about, active in the local community, and may still help us out on special projects.  We wish him well, and all the RAVES we can muster.









The Big News…

29 11 2017
Sustainable South Sound
Launches NEW Platform
 November 29, 2017
In 2015, Sustainable South Sound launched Living Local, a quarterly newspaper promoting Localism and Sustainability in South Sound.  With a growing subscriber base and solid group of advertisers, it’s time to expand the depth and breadth of our message to reach a larger audience.
More print issues, however, is expensive.  And not sustainable.  Instead, we are launching a companion publication, The Localist, reaching you digitally every fortnight.  If you aren’t archaic, that’s every 14 days, or two weeks.  Four times per year for Living Local, Twenty-Six times a year for the Localist.