Lately it seems like everything we possibly need in life can arrive at our doorstep in two days—with free shipping. No need to put on pants and leave the house or schlep a box up the stairs to your fourth-floor walkup, and certainly no need to interact with a live human being in the process.
And while I can’t complain about the convenience factor, as a small-business owner and a values-driven consumer, I wonder what the future of local and small businesses will look like if we continue to try to pinch pennies by shopping only with the big guys. Call me extreme, but I refuse to shop from some of the big names online because I feel strongly that those companies are undermining my personal values and ethics, taking a toll on the environment, and lacking a real human connection—not to mention making it impossible for small businesses to keep up.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against online shopping (heck, I own an online store!). But as with everything else in your life, your purchases should be intentional. Before mindlessly clicking around and shipping yourself two rolls of toilet paper you can easily grab down the block, consider the many benefits of shopping small and shopping local. Here are a few: