Best Sustainable Shopping for Cybernauts 2020 | EarthHero | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Best Sustainable Shopping for Cybernauts


Need to restock your sustainable, zero-waste home supplies, but nobody's open? Boulder-based online marketplace EarthHero is the closest thing to shopping local at a real store, 24/7. Stock up on natural toothpaste, organic socks, tailored reusable diapers, organic cotton unpaper towels, compostable pet-waste bags, biodegradable cotton swabs and hundreds of other items, all while sheltering in place — with a conscience.

Although many Colorado parks are free to enter (and still open!), the gear you need to safely and comfortably recreate in them often costs a pretty penny. Wilderness Exchange purchases lightly used gear and resells it at a reduced price, making it easy to find — and pay for — the hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing and camping gear you need. In addition, Wilderness Exchange hires only people who have extensive experience in the mountains themselves, so you can ask questions with confidence; although all sales are online now, you still get the same smart service.

Runners Roost opened in Colorado Springs in 1977 and has since grown to nine stores around the state, all open right now. We're partial to the South Colorado Boulevard location, which has been in operation since 1987. Its longevity is evident in its extensive collection of running shoes and knowledgeable staffers, who take a holistic approach to your needs, offering not just the right equipment, but training advice and a sense of community. The store even serves as the starting point for a great 10K loop through Washington Park. Lace up! (And sanitize before you come in, staffers advise.)

Whether you're a casual neighborhood cyclist or a cross-country badass, Totem Cyclery has the goods and services you need, along with plenty of solid advice. Owner Ryan Santoski is a trusted voice, recommending the right products and tune-ups for any level of rider, whether that be stylish new handlebar tape, bike lights, saddle bags or custom wheels. The store's well-stocked, 24-hour bike part vending machine is in operation, and Santoski is still offering services on an appointment-only basis.

Jewelry maker Jamie Hollier, owner of Balefire Goods in Olde Town Arvada, proactively supports the small-business community at large, as well as local Colorado metalsmiths and artists. Right now, though, she's focusing on staying afloat so she can help others, by sharing live social-media messages ( and offering personal appointments, online shopping with free delivery and 20 percent-off promotion attached, and a curbside pick-up option. And the show will go on: Balefire's scheduled international exhibition for April, titled "Brooching the Subject," is going online beginning April 3.

Best Store for Your Home-Quarantine Crafting Needs

ReCreative Denver

Courtesy ReCreative Denver Facebook page

There's only so much binge-watching we can do before we go bananas, and ReCreative Denver knows how important it is to keep our hands and households busy. This nonprofit, recycled-art-supply shop and gallery is offering "Curbside Crafting," a no-contact option that allows you to pick out and pick up ingredients for the perfect art project. Just go online to peruse and snag a variety of materials, everything from crayons and pipe cleaners to a jewelry-making grab bag or a sack of leather scraps, then place your order. Within 24 hours, the store will have it ready for pick-up. If now is the time to discover your inner painter or quilter, ReCreative Denver is here to help.

The DIY maker crowd got all excited just weeks ago when Made Wkshop opened for business, offering classes for groups and individuals in a fully supplied industrial-arts shop outfitted for working with everything from welders and plasma cutters to textiles and wood, and much more. But while on hiatus, Made Wkshop has joined several other local businesses in offering FLIPSIDE Shop Local Gift Cards, specifically to buy memberships and various maker experiences available "on the flipside," when life becomes a little more normal for us all. Learn more on the Made Wkshop Facebook page.

There's nothing like perusing a stack of books while getting cozy on an antique couch at the Tattered Cover. Even when that's not an option — all locations are temporarily closed — you can still support the city's top independent bookseller by going online and ordering your next read. With plenty of local authors in the mix — whether Peter Heller, Kali Fajardo-Anstine or Phil Goodstein — you can buy your next hometown tome, or pretty much any other book you're looking for, on the website. All orders over $10 ship for free, and while you're online, pick up a Tattered Cover shirt or travel mug...and dream of the day that you can return to that couch.

Nothing can re-create the feeling of wandering the stacks of a used bookstore; that experience simply doesn't translate to the Internet. And given the way inventory comes in and goes out, it's not surprising that a lot of the city's best used bookstores lack a true online storefront. So it's exciting to see that Highland mainstay West Side Books is in the process of revamping its website to make it easier to buy gift certificates and books (both physical and audio); in the meantime, the store is taking orders for shipping or pick-up via its side door.

There are a lot of reasons that we've fallen deeper in love with the Mile High Comics warehouse this year. It's more than just a treasure trove of all things geek, a place to find both antique comics and the latest issues; a hub for gamers, toy collectors, poster aficionados and more. It's also been hosting the Drag for All Ages show, which has given up-and-coming drag performers a chance to strut their stuff. But even though the giant warehouse is closed to the public, Mile High Comics has a lot to offer. If you're looking to spend long days ahead catching up on your favorite Marvel and DC superhero adventures, is the place to go.

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