I'm big into shop local, especially during the summer when the downtown farmers' market is in full swing. Not only can you get fruits and vegetables, cheese, bread, meat and a huge variety of dry goods and condiments are also available. Beyond food, there are booths with clothing, plants, jewelry, art and so much more. Besides my friends, the farmers' market is what I will absolutely miss the most when/if we ever move from this area.
Alas, the farmers' markets - at least this far north - only run May through October. There are other ways to shop local by going to locally owned restaurants and stores that use raw materials from other local businesses, but you can also shop local right from your couch - on Etsy. Once you have an account, fill out your profile to include your home town or nearest larger town/city. Then on the homepage, click "Shop Local" and it will find up to 10 pages of the most recently updated shops in your area.
Although shipping within your own area cuts down on fuel needed, it still takes the proper packaging. Through the convo feature (kind of like emailing within Etsy) you can arrange to meet the seller somewhere, have them drop it off or pick it up yourself. No shipping cost, no using fuel to drive your package all over the county and you still get amazing products and possibly the opportunity to meet the creator and artist. Win, win all around as far as I can see.
Here's a treasury with some of my favorite items found by shopping local on Etsy in the Des Moines and Ames area.
Turquoise & coral beaded bracelet by jFrances Design
2. Hand painted mid-century platter from Odd Bits at Etsy
3. Hand printed eco binder by Urban Posture
4. Composition vintage journal by Paper Cake Creations
5. Vintage aluminum folding desk from Fusion Furniture
6. Japanese printed masking tape from Happy Tape
7. Letterpress calling cards by Sweet Harvey Letterpress
8. Wood bangle from Auryn Design
9. Argyle t-shirt by Hard Love Apparel
10. Reusable grocery tote by Tonya Dusold
11. Vegan mint soap from Two Rivers Soaps
12. Sango orange china creamer from Mary Marie
Next post in this series: Give your change to charity.