To mark the start of ‘not buying new’, we have banished Amazon from our home. No more waiting for packages to arrive, on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.
Amazon has been a guilty pleasure for years but 2019 was bonkers. It felt plain wrong when the adapter and book I ordered arrived in a huge box – we laughed nervously and said, “that’s excessive”. Yet, I still kept clicking and ordering, clicking and ordering, even with this niggling feeling that I shouldn’t be.
And with two Prime accounts (yes two), it was just so easy. I “Need This Now!”, I would scream, and 12 hours later it would appear… in a bloody huge box.
I’ve since read that Prime is a big part of the problem. For home delivery to be greener, we need to be buying a large number of items per trip, but with Amazon Prime, there’s little incentive to do this. And the consequence of all these different orders, shipped separately and returned for free, is more cars, more lorries, more planes, and more cardboard. See Buzzfeed article.
I also discovered (always late to the party) that there is an ‘Amazon Prime Day’ – Amazon’s version of Black Friday. In 2019, Amazon announced it was “once again the largest shopping event in Amazon history.” They sold more than 175 million items and they added more Prime subscribers in a single day than ever before. Source: Business Insider Amazon’s Prime Day.
So while their world domination continues, for us, it’s bye-bye Amazon. The lure was powerful but I don’t think I’ll miss you, not this year at least.
It’s got me thinking about my how I shop online (for the future). Rather than order beauty products and make-up from separate websites as soon as one item runs out, I’ll try to buy from one supplier in bulk (no more tiny products arriving in separate vans in oversized boxes). It will require a bit of organisation and thinking ahead. But hey, not as much effort as making Glasgow carbon-neutral by 2030!
And I’ve always ignored the ‘green van’ option on Ocado, but not any more. Small steps people, small steps. Like my mum said, when I was bemoaning the fact that what we are doing seems so pathetic in the face of wild fires in Australia and 1 degree temperature rise, “Clare, think of Amnesty’s slogan”: ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’.