Monday, December 1, 2008

Betty's version of Cyber Monday

Imagine my surprise this morning when I walked into Cville Coffee to catch up on work, when the smiling face of a CBS reporter asked me if I was going to participate in Cyber Monday. It was the first I had heard of it (I promise I don't live under a rock), but I quickly surmised that it was the online equivalent of Black Friday.

Oddly enough, item number five on my agenda: Write a blog about local vs online shopping.

"I think I'm the last person you want to talk to about this - I took a no-new-purchases pledge, so I won't be participating." Her ears perked up, "Well, I definitely want to talk to you!" So the bright lights of a news camera were shinning on me before I could even say "Better World Betty."

Online shopping may be convenient, as you avoid crowded malls and parking lots, but, my green friends, online shopping is not the Bettiest thing to do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not eschewing the internet entirely. After all, Betty and the rest of the internet is a marvelous, modern-day, one-click resource connection to green living. It is the number one way I align my values with my lifestyle. Whether I'm looking up the latest environmental policies or searching for a green product alternative or looking up the environmental track record of certain brands, the internet is invaluable in my quest to be mindful.

So here are my suggestions/tips for on and off-line shopping this season:

*According the Organic Consumer's Association: Buying in-store is better because bulk shipping cuts down on fuel costs and emissions.

*Keeping your money here, rather than pay-palling it to a faraway place, allows your money to STAY in your community and feed the local economy.

*Mark Lorenzoni, local business owner of Ragged Moutain Running Shop, told me that is one of his pet peeves: people shopping on line in their living room instead of maintaining a personal relationship with their local vendors and supporting the people and businesses in their community.

*However, if your eco-friendly products (ex the snow boots my mom just purchased for my birthday) are not available in stores, I would recommend going online. But, next time you are in the local shoe store or retailer, mention that you would like to see more green products.

*If you want the convenience of online shopping, while shopping local, try Here you can online shop at numerous local stores in the morning, click and pay, and pick it up on your way home from work (they have a downtown location and a pantops location), saving on gas and emissions!

*Also keep it close to home by searching products at

*Search for local artists who have home-made wares (clothing, jewelry, art, gifts) in virtual shops at This is one of my absolute favorite solutions for mindful gift-giving. You can even search by recycled materials.

Keep it local, keep it green with Betty's help!


Janice Lois said...
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Paz123 said...

Online shopping is fun and easy and has advantages too. Its an easier and cheaper way of shopping.