Buying handmade products is a great way to honor Mother Earth. That’s because handmade products are usually one-of-a-kind or they are produced in limited quantities, helping to mitigate some of the environmental damage and waste that can result from large-scale manufacturing. In fact, many artisan products are only produced when ordered. On the other hand, the manufacturing, shipping, storage, and ultimate disposal of mass-produced products is pretty hard on the environment. Annie Leonard explains it all in this informative and entertaining 20 minute video, The Story of Stuff:

It’s easy to think along the lines of “me buying handmade products is not going to stop all that,” but that’s not true. We tend to underestimate the power we wield with our buying decisions. Buying handmade is like buying local, recycling, readjusting our thermostats, and all the other things we do to eliminate waste and support sustainability. It all adds up. And every time a new person joins the movement, the balance is tilted a bit more in favor of Mother Earth.And buying handmade offers an additional and very powerful way of helping. It’s the connection you create between yourself and the person who made the product you buy. By buying their products, you encourage artisans to continue making them. You validate their desire to create and you sustain their ability to continue. It’s real, it’s direct, and it’s empowering.

Earth Day is everyday. April 22 is just a reminder. And my everyday mission is to help you find good handmade alternatives to common mass-produced products. Heartful Village has all the resources you need, and the About page will give you the full scoop.

This post was first published 4/22/13.