I will be the first to admit I looovvee Amazon. It has benefited my life and shopping experiences in countless ways!! But I’m not going to lie, as I become eco-friendlier with my lifestyle choices and promote a reduced-waste way of living, I sometimes feel guilty about the amount of packaging that comes with my order.
Until now… Below is a video from YouTuber Shelbi with the eco-friendly living channel Shelbizleee that completely inspired this post as her video gave so many great suggestions on more eco-friendly zero waste Amazon shopping. Her channel has other great video’s on living an eco-lifestyle as well.
Reasons I Love Amazon
I thought I would start off with some of the reasons I love Amazon. I know Amazon has its downfalls, but these are the reasons I choose to support the company.
- They make it really easy to purchase high quality products that support my eco-friendly lifestyle choices like my reusable water bottle, reusable coffee cup, non-toxic reef safe sunscreen, and some of the supplies for my green cleaning arsenal that are not that easy to find locally.
- The reviews – It’s like I don’t even know how to buy anything anymore unless I know what other people have said about it. In all seriousness though, it helps me make more educated buying decisions as I am someone who does a ton of research with most of my purchases. Amazon reviews have helped me make sure the things I am buying are things I’m going to get a lot of use out of and have lower likelihood of me needing to make a return or just not using the product.
- They created Kindle and essentially the whole eBook marketplace opening space for new opportunities in publishing while also saving countless trees. Kindle also gave me the ability to hoard books without taking up any physical space!
- Although Amazon is a big company, their infrastructure supports small business, entrepreneurs, and creators in making a living. This is probably what I love most about Amazon. If you have read my post on 5 Steps to Becoming a more Conscious Consumer you will know that I like to support smaller business and you may think it is contradictory for me to support Amazon but it is not. Amazon gives small businesses a larger platform to get their products noticed and purchased by audiences. Otherwise many people may not have even known their product existed. It also gives creatives more avenues to make money by providing opportunities for self-publishing books through their KDP Program and by offering an affiliate marketing program so bloggers like myself can earn money recommending products that they truly love and use. Because let’s face it you can buy pretty much anything you could ever want or need on Amazon!
*Photo Credit Pixinoo/BigStock.com
Ways to Make Amazon shopping more Eco Friendly
- Don’t impulse buy and make sure to order multiple items at once. Other than the occasion where you truly need something immediately, do your best to limit your Amazon orders to once or twice a month (or less if you can get away with it). You can still browse as much as you want but use the wish list, shopping list and/or shopping cart feature to pile things up before placing the order.
- Select no rush shipping whenever possible when checking out. Even if you have Amazon Prime, it’s worth it to wait because you can get Amazon credit and Amazon Prime has plenty of other benefits you don’t always need to always use it for fast shipping to get your money’s worth. In addition, when given the option make sure you group your items into as few packages as possible. Selecting no rush shipping and grouping your items decreases the carbon footprint of your order.
- Reduce your packaging. One really cool thing I learned from the video is that you can email Amazon’s customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to put a note on your account to avoid plastic or extra packaging when shipping your items whenever possible. You can also select frustration free packaging on certain items which is 100% recyclable and less waste packaging.
- Reuse your packaging. If you still get some excess unwanted packaging save and reuse it yourself if you know you could ship something out with it or give it to a small business or someone you know who regularly ships stuff out and would appreciate the extra packaging materials. If you don’t have someone in mind maybe go to a place like craigslist or freecycle.org and make a post asking if anyone is interested in you saving your packaging materials for their use. Then save all your packaging materials for them for the occasional meet up. Another way to reuse your packaging is to use Amazon’s Give Back Box® program where you can use the box your Amazon stuff was shipped to you in and fill it with usable clothing, accessories and household goods you no longer need, print a free shipping label and it will go to your nearest participating charitable organization.
- Recycle your packaging. The cardboard boxes they ship in are both recyclable and biodegradable. They also use paper tape vs plastic assuring the whole box is recyclable without further complications like ripping off tape. Make sure with whatever you ordered if the packaging is recyclable to recycle that as well. If you still end up with the blown up thin plastic film you can find out where to recycle it at plasticfilmrecycling.org. For additional information on what can be recycled in your area and where visit Earth911.com.
- Still shop outside of Amazon. Make sure you are still occasionally going outside of the Amazon eco-sphere to support other businesses that align with your conscious consumer values.
– Elizabeth Hemmings, author of Easy Green Cleaning
If you know someone who is also an Amazon addict and could benefit from learning how to make their Amazon purchases more eco-friendly. Please share this post by using the sharing icons below. If you have any additional idea’s on having a more eco-friendly Amazon experience we would love to hear them so please leave a comment below.