Since this is a "local" Etsy Street Team, I thought I'd take a moment to post some of the reasons I think buying local is important. If there are any I've left out, feel free to leave a comment!
1) Buying local supports your regional economy. In these days of jobs being shipped overseas, its nice to be able to give someone in your community support by purchasing locally made goods.
2) Buying local cuts down on carbon emissions. Everyone should be aware of global warming and how burning fossil fuels is contributing to it. By shopping locally, you're reducing those emissions.
3) Buying local often means being able to get a custom order. When I go into a Big Box Store, my options are limited to what's in stock. Etsy allows buyers and sellers to come together and collaborate on custom items. If you haven't already checked out the Alchemy section, you should.
4) Buying local allows you to find out exactly what's in the item you're buying. Etsy in particular lets crafters tell exactly what went into that handcrafted item. With the recent scares of contaminated goods from overseas, I feel better being able to ask the maker directly about what ingredients go into an item.
For more on the benefits of buying local, check out: