Why buy local?

This is something you probably are hearing more and more these days – “Buy local!  Be a locavore!  Keep it Local!  Support your Local Shops/markets/vendors/stores/artists!”  And you nod your head, saying, ‘yeah, that sounds good.  I should do that.’  But then you might be secretly thinking, ‘what does it really matter?  What if I really *want* those raspberries from New Zealand in the middle of winter when I know they had to travel halfway around the world and it’s not natural?’  Well, part of the answer to that particular question has more to do with the cost of travel for those raspberries – moreover the environmental cost of the gas and oil that went into the boats and trucks that brought those berries to the market.  By increasing demand for fossil fuels (not to mention exhaust and pollution), we contribute to destabilization of our world economy.  So now maybe we’ll decide instead to buy the strawberries from Mexico (not so far) or grapefruits from south Texas.  Better still! 

So why should one buy their crafts and gifts locally? Same reason, but let me take it a step farther.  If you bought a concrete pot from Lowes of Home Depot (assuming you could even find one there!) you’d be paying for those transportation costs, in addition to extra $$ profit for the store (retail markup).  Add to that the sure assumption that your pot will NOT be the only one of its kind gracing the front porches or window sills of Dallas homes.  You will have a copy-cutter pot.

If you buy from me and my wonderful partner Steve, you get to feel great knowing that your purchase is one of a kind.  You also get to ask all kinds of questions, or email us later if you forget something we might have discussed (like, how often do I need to water that rock plant?) And finally, you get to feel good that we’re not overcharging you for something really cool.  The money we make will go back into our *local* economy, either by helping us buy local real estate (good!), buy local food (support our fellow growers!) and yes, even buy more local art to support others we we admire.  It’s nice to keep it local because… it’s nice.  Sorry if that sounded like a lecture.  We truly appreciate your business and hope you will feel really good about your associations with us.

So this is one of my all-time favorite songs; is it any wonder folks sometimes call me an earth-mama, tree-hugger, hippy weirdo?  I sometime wish I had long hair like Joan Baez or Joni here, so I could let my freak flag fly! 

They took all the trees
Put ’em in a tree museum *
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ’em

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that DDT * now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

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