Jay Johnson -- I believe in buying local. If you live in a small town, you should visit and make purchases in local stores. It's great for the economy and keeps small businesses thriving.
The Slow Food movement focuses on buying locally-grown produce and foods from area farmers and slowly savoring the preparation of a meal, turning the usually-quick kitchen experience into a social gathering to be enjoyed over a longer period of time by family and friends. If there's an equivalent of "slow cooking" for decorating your home, it would probably be a movement of people who make purchases in local antique and crafts stores, haunt local flea markets, scour the finds at local auction houses, and recycle their own unused items back through these local outlets.
Visiting another country just underscores the value of buying from local sources. In December, I visited South Africa, and spent some enjoyable afternoons in Cape Town, exploring local shops and the stalls at Greenmarket Square.
I wanted to share two of the videos I took during these excursions. First is the Greenmarket Square experience, with its colorful sights and sounds, and people from other parts of Africa bringing their personal and decor items to the public. The second video was shot in the store African Image, very close to Greenmarket Square. I interspersed the shots of goods in this store -- all made from recycled materials and trash -- with scenes of the poor "township" settlements just outside of Cape Town, because this is where many of these items were dreamed up and put together. Purchasing them directly benefits the poor and helps to sustain the local economy.