Best Homegrown Mini-Movement

Alko Office Supply's Anti-Penny Crusade

With apologies to Abe Lincoln, the penny is the scourge of the coin universe. It's practically useless on its own, unwanted even by parking meters and public transportation — and, in fact, thanks to the rising cost of zinc, which is used to make the coins, producing one penny actually now costs more than a cent. The fine folks at Alko Office Supply have taken a stand by declaring their store "penny-free." That means all cash purchases are rounded down to the nickel, and the employees refuse to accept pennies. Though they're not flashy or confrontational about the ban, it's a small gesture to reason in an otherwise irrational world. According to owner Gary Shows, Alko — which is, by the way, a reasonably priced and well-stocked store in its own right — is one of the few businesses in the country to enact such a rule. Here's hoping others catch on.

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