April and Joel started a campaign to support independent and local shops - so I'm going to try that for a while. They have been exclusively shopping local since September 1st and plan to stick to it for 6 months (though they did make an exception last weekend for Chipotle and Dunkin' Donuts since we were in Chicago).
The economist in me was hesitant at first - doesn't specialization increase efficiency? - but I do realize, of course, that efficiency isn't everything. So with the exception of grocery shopping (which requires a shift in lifestyle much larger than I can commit to right now), I will not set foot in any corporate establishments - including Starbucks, Target and Blockbuster - from now until March.
Fortunately, I recently discovered the brilliance that is Etsy - 'Your place to buy & sell all things handmade.'(TM) Not only is it a wonderful concept but the website is well-built, allowing you to do things like shop by color and view items that were recently purchased. There is now an Etsy Favorites section in my sidebar.
Doesn't it just make you feel good to see all of these people who are creating instead of just consuming? The world needs more of that.