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ZERO WASTE STORE closes after 5 months: What happened?

When I read this story in a local news outlet (Evanston Now), my initial questions revolved around the kind of input the owners got from Evanston economic and climate folks before they opened, e.g., from Downtown Evanston, Evanston’s Economic Development Department, Citizens Greener Evanston. Of course it’s possible that the owners (who already owned a successful store in Lincoln Square, Chicago) didn’t seek much input.

This blog does not go into any deep analysis, but it contains some observations that I haven’t seen elsewhere. I submitted this comment in response to the article in Evanston Now, but it was not printed, for unknown reasons. Perhaps it was too long. 


Posted June 12, 2022 (but not published)
As a lifetime environmentalist (71 yrs), my first thought when I saw that a zero waste store was opening in Evanston was “Great!”

As a food & farm activist since 2005, my second thought was, “Who talked a new food store into opening in downtown Evanston?” Although most food & farm folks don’t like the term “food desert”, we use it because most people understand the basic definition. And I think that most Evanstonians know that, except for one census tract in the 5th ward, most Evanstonians not only don’t live in a food desert. Most of us live in a food glut. Former Mayor Liz Tisdahl once made a public plea that Evanston doesn’t need any more food outlets (esp. restaurants). This is still true today.

Unfortunately, more and more Evanstonians (including myself) are suffering in a “money desert” as our public money supply is dwindling ever faster under a money & banking system (the Federal Reserve) that is (a) privately owned, and (b) privately controlled, even though “publicly” regulated.
Whoever convinced Eco & Flamingo into opening in Evanston (right after Christmas ?) would do well to read this recent short essay: The Private Money System  (by Sue Peters a board member of Alliance For Just Money).

Perhaps the Chicago-based Eco & Flamingo made this decision on their own (to open a second store in Evanston) and didn’t do what’s considered normal due diligence. Even so, the due diligence mandate for any new business in the current economic climate has clearly expanded beyond what was considered normal. 

Economic development advocates such as the City’s economic development department, Downtown Evanston, the Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Greener Evanston, and the rest of us would do well to add some economic history to their toolkit. We would all make better decisions (with less damage control) if we understood that the entire history of the U.S. has been a laboratory in the “science of money” (per the late Stephen Zarlenga of Arlington Heights, the founder of the American Monetary Institute whose office is currently in Evanston, IL).

Unfortunately, the experiments are still on-going, with more and more of us being the guinea pigs. The good news is that people are waking up to all the different experiments that have been perpetrated on us:
— private bankmoney impersonating U.S. money (The Money Question)
— GDP instead of an honest economic metric (e.g., Genuine Progress Indicator)
— unfunded sovereignty instead of universal basic income for all voters, etc.