Here is a good blog post I’ve come across discussing the importance of buying locally. I don’t think we necessarily need to be guilted into buying locally, but we can’t expect to have vibrant livable towns if we do all our shopping online. Cancel your Netflix subscription and visit your local video store (if you still have one). Forget searching for the cheapest price for a book on Amazon and buy it from your local bookstore. If they don’t have it in stock they can probably order it for you. Sebastopol has a locally owned Ace Hardware store which is a great resource and well loved. I’d much rather spend my money there than Home Depot or Lowe’s. They don’t have everything, but they pack A LOT into a not-very-big store.
It may cost a bit more to shop locally, but consider it an investment in your community, which it is. Money spent at a locally owned business stays in the community, rather than being sent to some national corporations office. Local merchants are the backbone of any thriving community and the need our business if we don’t want vacant storefronts lining our main streets.