Recently I have not been making any unnescessary purchases in lieu of starting my compacting pledge at the beginning of August. However, when I really do need to buy something such as a birthday gift, I have been trying to support local, independent stores. I am surprised by how many we have within a fairly small area of where we live.
Using independent stores that are close to home saves gas, and reduces our carbon footprint. I am able to combine many of my errands without driving far. It also provides vital support for independent business.
I have found Local First Arizona to be a really useful resource that provides listings of local business in Arizona.
"We are the locally-owned, independent businesses that are the backbone of the Arizona economy. When you shop at a locally owned business, 45 cents of every dollar stays in Arizona - versus only 13 cents of every dollar spent at a national chain!"
The "Why Shop Locally" page is a very interesting read, and I highly recommend this resource for those of us living here, and for visitors to our beautiful state as well!
For me shopping at independent stores as often as possible has become a big part of trying to live more sustainably, at least when I absolutely have to buy something new!