Being an artist is an incredibly tough gig. Most full-time artists in North America live below the poverty line and often fight to gain grants and to justify their existence and value. Fortunately the Re-nest community generally values art and handmade items over mass-produced items. So why do we prefer items made by hand, and how are they greener?
First and foremost, buying art or crafts direct from an artist means that you are supporting products that are not made in polluting factories, aren't shipped across the ocean, and are usually made on a very small scale.
When you support local artists you are supporting typically open-minded, progressive thinkers who tend to make greener choices in their personal lives. Supporting artists at home also encourages innovation and stimulates the local economy.
A more selfish reason to buy original art is that it's one of the best investments you can make. Art almost always gains value, even the most inexpensive, folksiest piece you can find is very likely to gain significant value in your lifetime.
So the next time you're tempted to pick up an IKEA print, why not look to your local community art gallery or lookup a local photographer? You might pay a bit more in the short term, but the benefits to your community and to the planet far outweigh the benefits to your pocketbook.
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