Best Eco-Friendly Internet Service 2001 | The EcoISP | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
If you're paying for a service, why not use one that supports your views? What Working Assets did for long-distance and progressive causes, The EcoISP does for Internet access and environmental issues. Each month, 50 percent of a subscriber's net revenue is donated to the environmental cause of his choice -- and in case he has trouble picking an appropriately politically correct charity, the site provides direct links to such organizations as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Sierra Club.

This Boulder-based reverse-auction Web site lets buyers tell the world what they want, when they want it and how much they are willing to pay for it. When the bidding's done, the buyer receives contact information for the three lowest bids; the vendor with the lowest bid receives the buyer's information...and then let the negotiations begin. The brainwave of CU grad David Chuang, Fatty Tuna (named for Chuang's favorite type of sushi) has about 250 registered vendors and about 2,000 visitors a day. So start trolling with the tunas-- before you get eaten by the sharks.

You've been to the Mount Everest base camp and survived. But now you find yourself with a yak harness you no longer need, along with some miscellaneous sporting equipment. Or maybe you're planning to summit the world's highest peak and are curious about yak-related paraphernalia. Never fear: The Mountain Miser store in Englewood will get you together with about 300 like-minded souls for the area's most sporting swap meet. Every spring and fall, the shop provides space for sellers and buyers to come together, free of charge: You price it, you sell it. Rental gear from the shop and excess from local dealers is also available for sale. And while yak-related wares aren't guaranteed, you can always hope.

When your stuff is too old to use but too good to trash, call the Stuff Exchange. The volunteers manning the hotline and Web site will see that your gently used items get a good home, either with a school, nonprofit organization or individual in need. If you're with one of those good causes that needs old computers, furniture or business equipment, check the Exchange to see what's available; if you have stuff to pass on for posterity, e-mail your listing to the Web site.
Do you really think that old 386 in the basement is good for anything other than a boat anchor? Compute again, Intel-head, then contact Computers for Community. This nonprofit collects, refurbishes and distributes used computers to schools and nonprofits in the metro area. And they'll accept any computer equipment, working or not. But a $1 donation is requested for each monitor to cover the cost of recycling all those nasty components inside.

Admit it: You have a thing for cops. You've memorized every episode of CHiPs and frequently fantasize that you're cruising alongside Erik Estrada on your motorcycle. For real vroom service, accelerate over to an old house at the corner of First and Wadsworth in Lakewood, where the Colorado State Patrol Specialty Store is open for business five days a week. Outfit yourself in such CSP-logo wear as jackets, baseball caps, sweats and polo shirts. Arm yourself with the kind of pens, pencils and flashlights the real troopers use. And it would be a crime to forget the kiddies: Future juvenile delinquents will love the shop's stuffed animals and T-shirts.
All salvage, all the time, donated by builders and contractors who would rather give it away than dump it in a landfill. By reclaiming used building materials and selling them to consumers at bargain prices -- $70 for a picture window, for example -- Resource 2000 aims to reduce the amount of construction waste winding up in landfills. Overseen by the Boulder Energy Conservation Center, the program generated nearly a quarter-million dollars in revenue in 1999. That's a lot of roofing shingles.

You pays your money, you takes your choice. And with the size of the newest Goodwill store -- a robust 11,300 square feet -- you have to be alert to the good things Goodwill will sometimes have coming and going. Skis? Sure. Snowboards? Once in a while. The best way to check it out is to check it out. While the economy was booming (remember that?), donations were up. However, the recent downturn has also been good for business, with buyers pushing profits from donated items over $20 million, organizers say. That's enough to fund programs for more than 6,000 disabled and disadvantaged people annually, mostly through job-training and support services. All while giving a few of those snowboards, skis -- and maybe some faded Levi's -- new lives with new owners.

Since 1982, Lenore Stoddard and her band of loyal volunteers have staffed this fundraising venture for Children's Hospital. And what funds they've raised! La Cache has generated more than $1 million for the hospital to date, even while giving consignors two-thirds of the purchase price. Shoppers will find a treasure trove of high-quality and rare sterling, china, jewelry, linens and antique furniture; look in the Blue Light room for incredible bargains. And don't be surprised to find curators sniffing around: This Cache has cachet.

Not long ago, there was a mink coat on sale at the Treasure Trunk. Although it was priced to move at $65, some shrewd -- but not necessarily PC -- fashion-hound snapped it up on a half-price day. Clean and well-organized, both the big, new shop on Colfax and the original in Wheat Ridge benefit Family Tree shelters, programs for victims of domestic violence, and the homeless. Donations can be made at any time; while you're there, you can think mink and look around for down.

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