Amazon’s carbon footprint is getting bigger
Some days ago I received an email that really made me think and prompts me to write this post.
How patient are you?
The modern human has no patience. You know the expression “time is money”. This reflects the “I want it now” sentiment that people have nowadays. No time to enjoy a sunrise, no time to sniff the fragrance of a flower, no time to sit down with your friends and talk without looking at your phone the whole time.
It is sad we are constantly in a hurry. It is also sad that our hectic lifestyle has called forth all kinds of stupid ailments. Everything has to be immediately present, on-demand and companies like Amazon are fulfilling your wish. But at what price?
Amazon’s Prime Service
I read the Prime service of Amazon costs $120 a year and that at least 100 million people have signed up for it. They pay this extra money because they have no patience. I would rather go shopping for this amount and wait a few days more, but that is my opinion.
Now if this were the only issue, I couldn’t care less and would not be writing this post. The problem is that this lack of patience has quite a few side effects one might not be aware of.
Let’s first have a look at what this Prime service actually means
The shipping goes super fast, for 2 days only. It might even be 1 day or an amazing 2 hours. I mean, you have a wish and the goods are there already, as if by magic. I do not think this immediate gratification is so nice.
Do you remember in the good old times, when you would wait for a parcel to arrive by regular mail? It could take weeks and in the meantime, you were looking forward to it, which was part of the fun.
Prime Video Privileges is competing with HBO, Disney, and Netflix, everybody competing for a piece of the cake.
They can deliver whole Foods Market in 2 hours to your home depending on what city you live in. This sounds positive, as the product will be fresh and you can start cooking straight away.
For those who do not want to cook, there is the Amazon fresh meal kit delivery. You have a wish and your meal is there. You spend less time than going out to a restaurant. But it could also mean you do not mingle with people so much anymore. Humans are becoming more lonely as they lack interaction.
What about this great service called Prime Wardrobe service? You get your chosen fashion delivered at your home. You can try it on and only pay for the pieces you keep and then mail back what you do not want.
You can skip shopping completely, saving the time of going to actual shops. Amazon also provides the Prime Pantry household essentials delivery.
Now I must say I like to go shopping, going here and there, seeing people, having a coffee on the way, and leaving the house for some hours. This Prime system eliminates all of this. You can stay at home, get everything you need and it is delivered fast. Humans become isolated in their own little world and their best friend will be their computer.
Humans become more lonely but this coin has another side as well. This system, including delivery drones or Prime Air service, poses a burden to our environment. Because we have no patience, bad things are happening and we should all be aware of this.
Something most people may not realize is that this rapidly fulfilling of your wishes has a negative impact on the environment. Let me explain, please.
When you think that vehicle emissions are responsible for 25% of the American carbon footprint you will understand that this delivery system is negative. Often the vans used for these fast deliveries are quite small and that means they often have to return to the Amazon warehouse to load up again. This results in many extra trips back and forth.
Greenpeace confronts Amazon
2 years ago Greenpeace went against Amazon, accusing the company of not being transparent. Amazon was not openly telling about its use of materials, and also hazardous chemicals. It seems that Mr. Bezos has promised to do better.
The promise to purchase a hundred thousand electric vans sounds great, but it is still necessary to know how big Amazon’s carbon footprint is. They are one of the few companies that keep this information hidden.
Our way of shopping generates more pollution
Our wish to have our things nearly immediately has greatly increased the number of boxes used. This adds pollutants to the air, and it overloads landfills with cardboard and plastic foam.
Then the super service of ordering many dresses just for the fun of trying them on adds to this problem as well. You only buy one item and sent the rest back. This system might seem customer friendly but adds to carbon emissions in a big way.
Have you thought about small businesses? With this aggressive marketing and operating plan of Amazon, they have no chance. Mr. Bezos does not pay taxes on his immense wealth while his thousands of employees struggle to make ends meet on a $15 an hour salary.
There definitely seems to be a dis-balance and to top it off, all this delivery management focusing on pleasing customers who have no patience, does great harm to the environment. Do you think it is correct and do you think you would turn it down a notch if you could?
Silly big box for small item
Amazon received 40 million comments since 2009. To receive an enormous box with a minor item inside does not look efficient, there you see what this hurry can do. It seems Amazon is getting better and starts by having the right sized box for your order. Too much was going to waste.
Even if those cardboard boxes can be recycled, well, if they reach the recycling plant, we cannot deny the use of harmful chemicals.
Will you try to practice some more patience?
It would do the environment good if we, as customers, could think about a way to make Amazon become greener. The company has promised to do better in the future. We can also do better, if we make fewer orders, combine orders into one delivery, and then just chose the old-fashioned way. Waiting a little longer for your order to arrive will be positive for our planet.
The buy now with one click idea
The founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has driven Amazon to the top of the online retail word. COVID-19 has increased income for the company manifold as people could hardly leave their homes. In this book, you will read interviews with Amazon employees, competitors, and observers.
Before you leave, you might like to visit Recommendations. It is a special page I have made for you with a collection of things you could find interesting.
Photo Source: Pixabay
All this shopping we seem to need is affecting the environment in faraway countries. You might like to read the following post. The data is a real eye-opener.
I agree. We as a people are getting lazier and more demanding by the day. I don’t order a whole lot online, but when I do, I don’t mind the waiting game.
I would never pay $120 a year for faster package delivery. That’s $120! I’d rather spend it on something else. The same can be said for AmazonFresh, as well of the other services that you mentioned.
People are getting more impatient by the day, but at the same time, environment is an issue. I think caring about our planet deserves more attention, rather than getting your packages and whatever else ASAP. More people should be reading your article, so thanks for that.
Good evening Kevin,
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It is a fact the environment is suffering and we are the culprits with our thoughtless actions. It is good to know that practicing some more patience we are doing something good for the planet. All small actions combined will be a big help.
Being raised in rural Oklahoma I miss the days when things were more simple. Even when it comes to shopping. It seems since people don’t have to put forth much effort to get something, they don’t value it as much. Having said that I still love local farmers markets, and shopping local and it helps those around me succeed.
Good evening Pamela,
I have been living on my farm since 1981 and also love rural life. It is better for your nerves, the air is clean and the produce from the vegetable garden tastes great.
As I said in my post I like to go shopping now and then. This does not mean I have to buy something. To be out of the house for some hours is good.
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Thank’s a lor for summarizing such and honest review about Prime Services.
I had no idea that all these services do so much harm to the environment. I think that all the actions that man does bring a little harm to this planet.
I think the biggest pollution is caused by transport (cars). When we will have just electric cars then the environment will be much cleaner. I wonder how long it will take?
Thanks a lot for this article. Best wishes!
Sadly many human inventions may seem great in the beginning but with a closer look one often discovers big flaws. There are many things wrong in our world and changing to electric cars would help a lot but it should be worldwide to make a significant difference. The air is getting worse and we are breathing it day after day.
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As for myself, I did not apply for a Prime subscription, but that’s not to say I haven’t been lacking of patience when ordering something in the past. And not having patience can sometimes bring immediate damage to us, because of not having taken our time to study facts carefully before making a decision.
Rushing in doing things, as well as increased isolation, are true parts of our nowadays’ life. And it’s understandable that if many people want many new objects to enter their houses fast, then the density of traffic (Amazon’s delivery vehicles) gets high too, and that means intoxicating the atmosphere with gas emissions.
We may of course speak about humans being generally rushlike, not only as far as Amazon is concerned. But sure, Amazon is the biggest store on the Internet and it is a big symbol for our purchasing activity.
Hint: Sometimes, being too unpatient with Amazon leads to… account suspension! So there would not even be a gas-emitting delivery. It happens if the customer is so eager to have a new product that they mistakenly provide their billing information the wrong way, and thus the account gets locked!
And helping Amazon become greener depends directly on our attitude. It is people that make Amazon what it is (even by developing IA solutions).
Thanks for your article calling on us to be patient and this way save some environment resources!
Good Morning Peter,
You are so right. We, people, cause all these things to happen in our world. If we were not in such a hurry a lot of things would be better. It would be a good thing if Amazon would become greener and then other companies would follow their example.
Another good example is our fast food, people have no time to cook a decent meal with fresh ingredients. Health has gone into decline and then we try to solve the problems with taking medicine. There is something definitely wrong in the way of thinking.
We really should become aware of the many things which need urgent improvement.
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Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. After reading this, I am ashamed to admit that I am one of the 100 million who subscribe to Amazon Prime. In the beginning the membership was due to their subscribe & save monthly delivery service. The discount saved us tons on diapers for my little one each month. Because Prime Video was included with the membership, we were also able to drop our cable subscription. This saved us quite a lot more money each month. Not to mention the free shipping discount on anything we might need on anything else.
These savings were great when I was less financially stable, but now that I am on my feet I think it is time to consider the consequences of these conveniences. I certainly won’t be able to place any future Amazon orders without thinking about what these deliveries do to my own carbon footprint. Thanks again!
Good afternoon Shan,
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I fully understand when one needs to take advantage of such a good offer as Amazon Prime, we all like to save money. It is also normal most people do not realize what this Prime service actually means.
It takes 7 to 8 trees to produce oxygen for one person per year. How about planting some trees, like that you give back to Mother Earth? Did you see the green widget Save the Planet under my photo? Have a look as it might resonate with you. It is a global movement of consumers.
This is such a heartfelt plea and one I can’t resist. It is great that you are making us aware that being impatient is detrimental to our world and the pollution that we need to lower. I never made the connection between wanting something so quickly and it causing extra problems. It’s time for everyone to assess how we live our lives and do our bit to help.
Good Morning Lily,
Thank you for your comment and nice to see you again.
Having websites has opened my eyes to quite a few big problems in our world I was not aware of either. This being in a hurry has a lot of nasty side effects. Now we know so we can mend our ways. I hope Amazon will do likewise.
Hi Taetske. A very good alarm signal. We have a saying: “hurry spoils the job”. And yet we are all in a hurry, we only live in the century of speed, right? Carbon emissions are a problem, but I doubt it will be solved with electric vehicles. And then the charm of shopping is gone. Now we all want everything instantly. And it’s not good at all.
First of all for cooking. That’s why there are so many diseases we have to treat. This means substantial additional costs (doctors and medicines).
Good Morning Carmen,
Being in a hurry has a lot of side effects. Like you say, no time for cooking a decent meal anymore. This results in ailments and then Big Pharma is happy to have us as clients for the rest of our lives. Stress can cause a stomach ulcer. I always say back to nature, we would be better off.
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