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While employees of big companies are striking, and articles online are saying how you should curtail your shopping to the essentials so as not to overload those workers. It sounds like large businesses are imploring us not to buy from them, and small businesses are trying to stay afloat. So I am doing my best to comply with their wishes! Because I am a helpful person, and only somewhat snarky and sarcastic.

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If Amazon and Home Depot don’t want our business, small local companies surely do. Many of them have online shops right now, or are open limited hours, and are trying to stay afloat. A friend of mine runs Aloha Gardens, which just opened, and I was thrilled to shop there for a new trees, plants and potting soil, and they are happy for the business. Another local company, Powells Books, has had enough support in the form of orders to allow them to hire back some employees they had to lay off. I am lucky to have a local pet store for cat and dog food, and their prices are better than big pet shops. I sure wish we had a small local hardware store though. Home Depot is hard to avoid for house projects.

I have been able to avoid shopping at Amazon for a long time now. They have a terrible search function that makes it really hard to find anything anyway. I use eBay for random things from the internet, and it does the job just fine. I’d like to expand my list of good online small businesses. For my fountain pens and nice notebook addiction: Truphae, Jet Pens, Goulet Pens are all good. I’d love to find a source for more retailers like that. Googling for products brings up a million Amazon products, which is not what I’m after. But I digress.

My next goal is to start shopping locally for vegetables. There is a farm that accepts online orders and you can pick the veggies up from the farm, or from the farmers markets that just started up again now.

With the pandemic revealing the weaknesses in our system of centralized supplies and distribution, decentralizing is as good for real life as it is for the internet.