The localdecoravore stimulus – a cutting board?

Yesterday, I blogged about being too lame to spend some found money, but I also found what might be just the thing to buy.  I was in Bowl & Board in Davis Square, looking at cutting boards.  I had been coveting one of those bamboo numbers, all sustainable and asian chic and all.  But then I noticed a display of wooden bowls and boards (how fitting) by Spencer Peterman.

Each one is unique and handmade from fallen trees.  How's that for green?  And they're made in Western MA, how's that for local?  I don't think we grow any bamboo around these parts.  They're not cheap, but I have to say I'm warming to their wabi-sabi look.

A cutting board is something I know I'll use, probably for a long time, and buying local handcraft from a local merchant is pretty high on the localvore scale of where to put your money.  It assuages a small chunk of the guilt I feel buying stuff made overseas from national or international chains.  A small chunk is better than none.

Where else can one satisfy both discerning taste and the desire to keep money in the community?

7 Responses

  1. Professor N
    I think I might be an anti-locovore on items with low environmental impact to ship (i.e. non-perishables which can come by sea, and which might have less of a carbon impact than things which are trucked for hundreds of miles by road). Assuming a fair-trade product, I figure an extra $100 makes a far bigger difference in the life of a Cambodian cutting board marker than a MA cutting board maker, and I don't feel any more attachment to spend with those around me (probably where we differ). It's the same reason why I usually skip over local charities, my money just has less impact. I'm also uncomfortable with the extent to which locovoria overlaps with protectionism in some parts of the movement. In the long run, this isn't good for the local community, as Detroit found out. Domestic car makers would have been better off if they hadn't been able to rely on consumers buying cars simply because they're American. Cantankerously, N
  2. It's not protectionism if I choose to spend locally for my own selfish reasons, it's protectionism when the government makes it harder for foreign businesses to access our market. I think I agree with you on charity, especially since the poor are a lot poorer overseas and nobody in this country wants my lousy $25 kiva loan. But for commerce, I'm thinking that $100 to a local carpenter could get spent again on local goods and services whereas $100 to a foreign carpenter gets spent over there. Assuming a similar share of the purchase gets to both woodworkers.
  3. Isn't Bowl and Board closed???
  4. Professor N
    You're right about protectionism, I mis-spoke. I don't know what the right word is for voluntary self-protectionism, like what the Buy American campaigns urge. But more importantly, I'm curious as to your reasons for doing this. There are lots of different reasons why people become locovores. What motivates you to spend your money locally? Is it instrumental? Is it driven by norms? etc.
  5. @crystal: B&B moved to Davis Square, into Macintyre & Moore's space. @Professor N: I try to buy some things as locally as possible for the selfish reason that it helps keep my local economy more vibrant. I could buy American all day and still see my main street dry up unless I buy some stuff from stores here that employ people here and even source their goods and materials here. I don't go too far out of my way, out of my price range or out of my design sensibility to do so, but I do give it a try.
  6. PS is anybody at OneHertz listening? This forced justification in comments is totally bumming me out. Don't make me go into the CSS, guys... http://www.onehertz.com/portfolio/wordpress/mandigo/
  7. Further updates, soon to be a post of its own: (a) Bowl & Board featured in ongoing NPR series - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101951162 - in pretty bad shape but still operating in two locations (b) I went back and bought the board (c) B&B's shell near Harvard mentioned in the Globe as a bookend to Crate & Barrel's abandonment of their Harvard Square location - http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/03/08/<br />despite_store_closings_square_keeps_dealing/ - compare to my earlier post on the furniture strip - http://www.limeduck.com/2009/02/12/trying-to-be-a-localdecoravore-on-mass-ave/

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