How Amazon Is Polluting The Planet

Over 100 million people have Amazon Prime memberships, meaning 62% of the U.S. population has a membership. This number isn't that shocking when you think of all of the perks that come with having a membership. People are drawn to the convenience of free two-day shipping, that is even faster in some cities, the free books, movies and music, and the discounts at stores like Whole Foods.

It has become difficult to go a day without using or being exposed to something that is owned by Amazon. Even if you're not browsing the Amazon website, if you go to Whole Foods, use Audible or Twitch or even Goodreads, you are using an Amazon company.

This can be shocking and it makes it seem like Amazon is taking over the country, and it actually is trying to do that. According to Vox, Amazon is pushing to become the source of consumer needs for the U.S. government. This means that Amazon will be the company that provides the government with all of their needs: paper products, pens, office supplies, books, and pretty much anything else that the government may need.

So, what does this mean for us? This means a lot. If the U.S. government, along with local and state governments, turn to depend on Amazon for its consumer needs, it could mean the end for a lot of local businesses who depend on big accounts like a local government.

Driving out local businesses can mean more harm will be done to the community and the environment. If someone was living in a town that relies on small businesses that are then run out of town due to a lack of customers, then people are being forced to rely on the convenience of online marketplaces to do their shopping.

The number one online marketplace in the U.S. as of right now is Amazon, who, as of 2015, had a clean energy index of only 23%, compared to Apple's 100% and Yahoo's 73%. Although these numbers are old and only reflect the numbers of their data centers and not their overall carbon footprint, it doesn't look much better today, looking at the whole picture. Amazon Prime's free two-day or less shipping is a major contributor to the company's carbon footprint. Since free shipping is offered on pretty much anything someone could need off of Amazon, people are no longer waiting to fill their cart to reach a quota to get free shipping.

What this leads to is people buying one or two small things that they want and getting it shipped to their house. However, in those two days, some people have already placed another order of one or two little things. That's how we run into the situation where you get that pack of pens you ordered in a box that could fit 40 packs of pens. This is more cardboard and plastic packaging that ends up in landfills and adds to your carbon footprint.

Two-day shipping is also counterintuitive to the methodology of online shopping. Originally, online shopping was marketed as a great way to reduce carbon emissions, and it was. By being able to pack a truck full of goods to then be delivered in a planned route to a number of houses, companies were able to emit less carbon than if each person were to go to the store to get what they needed. However, with two-day shipping, trucks are being sent out half-full and the routes are more sporadic and deliveries are often being made to the same neighborhood, or even the same house, multiple times a week.

People are also using online shopping in a way that was not the original intention. Online shopping was meant to be used instead of going out and doing the shopping yourself. People have started using this along with regular shopping, meaning not only is carbon being emitted from the delivery trucks that are being used to deliver their items that were purchased online, but carbon is also be emitted by their cars when they go out to do more shopping.

In some cases and in some places it may not be possible to avoid using Amazon, but there is a lot we can do to help reduce the carbon footprint that we help amazon produce. First of which, is to fill your cart. Instead of only buying one or two things, buy everything that you may need. This might mean waiting a couple of days or even a week before ordering, but it also means that you are going to get a full package that was probably in a full truck.

You can also avoid ordering something online if you can buy it at a store that you will go to soon. By keeping in mind how we use online shipping services and the number of carbon emissions they produce, we can help to eliminate our overall carbon footprint.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments