Cheap and “green” alternatives to buying from big retailers

Edit: Due to protests from consumers, Amazon has removed the offending book that prompted a proposed boycott of Amazon. Yay! I am keeping this post up for now because I still think these are great and “green” ways to save money and hope they are helpful in the upcoming holiday season! 

Original post summary: Due to an uproar against Amazon and their decision to continue selling a book which is basically a “how-to” guide for pedophilia, some consumers are considering a boycott of Amazon and it’s affiliates. If you are participating in the boycott, I’d like to offer my suggestions on alternative online and offline sources for products frequently purchased on Amazon.

Cloth diapering supplies: I’ve been getting my Bummi’s flushable/biodegradable liners and Charlie’s Soap from Amazon, but as alternatives, I would suggest Cottonbabies.com and Nicki’s Diapers. I think I might also try using Rockin’ Green instead of Charlie’s, just because I can’t find Charlie’s online anywhere else for a good price.
from my readers: Also try The Green Nursery, the online outlet of a small shop in Bloomington, IN. It’s literally run by a husband and wife, so you’re supporting small business!

Books, music, and movies: Go local at your public library! Christian and I have been getting our books and even music CD’s from the library for quite some time and have been saving a lot of money. Most libraries now offer online catalogs where you can reserve a book, a CD, or a DVD and just pick it up when you get there. We have also borrowed quite a few Baby Einstein DVD’s for Little Sir!

Save on shipping by shopping at your local Half Price Books, if you have one nearby! Please note: the Half Price book web site is “powered by Amazon”, but not their physical stores. If you’re interested in avoiding Amazon, don’t buy online (it just takes you to Amazon…), but visit your local store instead.

iTunes is always a great option for music as well. Don’t forget that on Tuesdays, iTunes offers a free single download from their main home page.

Audiobooks: Amazon owns Audible.com, so if you are extending your boycott to all Amazon-owned companies, you might be looking for a new source of audiobooks. Again, your public library offers tons of audiobooks for free! I actually listen to a lot of audiobooks and I get almost all of them from my public library.

You can download volunteers reading the classic works (which are no longer under license) for free at sites such as LibriVox or BooksShouldBeFree.com. I have used these services to read books such as “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells and the autobiography of Helen Keller.

Christmas gifts: For unique gifts, I love Uncommon Goods! They have all kinds of gifts made from recycled materials and gifts that give back. If you are looking for more traditional gifts, there is always RedEnvelope.com.

Ultimately, if you are considering an Amazon boycott, you might even find yourself saving some money, and giving back to your community and local artisans at the same time!

8 thoughts on “Cheap and “green” alternatives to buying from big retailers”

  1. Hey Danielle – we researched & only the Half Price books web site is powered by Amazon. This means they just redirect you to Amazon if you want to buy online. However, their local stores are independent and don’t keep their inventory online (if you’ve ever called them, they can’t actually look anything up to see if they have it in stock – they have to go and physically search for it). So you’re safe with the physical store, just don’t buy online! Thanks for the catch – I’ve revised the post!

  2. I clicked on your link “amazon is standing by their decision” and there was an update at the top of the page saying that the publication is no longer for sale on amazon.

  3. There are plenty of great diaper recs here, but I’ll add that I love Green Mountain Diapers. Their prefolds fit better than any others we’ve tried. 🙂

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve shared this post with other friends who’ve decided to boycot.

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