helping you make better choices for the planet
How To Instantly Reduce Your Amazon Packaging
You know that feeling —> You just got home and your Amazon package is eagerly waiting outside your door. You slice open the box with a pumping excitement, only to find a swarm of plastic air pillows engulfing your itty-bitty product. WTF is all this for? Did they run out of smaller boxes? A minute ago, you were so excited to get your delivery, but now you just feel guilty looking at all the unnecessary packaging.
After thinking about the many times I’ve had a delivery like this, I realized how easy it was for me to complain about the packaging without taking any responsibility for it. Amazon was the one who shipped it, but at the end of the day, I was the one who ordered it, which meant the wastefulness of the situation was also on me.
This is where the eco-guilt slips in. I wasn’t just a victim, who had to succumb to Amazon’s packaging protocols. I had a part to play.
I’d received many orders like this. But I’d never contacted them to let them know their packaging was wasteful. So how were they supposed to know if people (as eco-conscious as me) weren’t giving them feedback? And . . . why would they change their practices if I didn’t tell them that minimal, eco-friendly packaging was important to me?
Between the packaging, the transportation fuel, and their ability to get orders to customers within a few hours, there’s no denying that Amazon has a huge carbon footprint. The fact is: online shopping requires massive amounts of energy and resources, but there are several things you can do as a consumer to minimize that footprint and the guilt that comes with it.
What can I do to make my Amazon orders more eco-friendly?
The first thing you can do is contact Amazon’s Customer Service department and ask them to avoid plastic-heavy, excessive packaging when shipping your orders. It’s ultimately up to Amazon to honor your request. But it’s important to let them know their packaging is wasteful and that you demand a more environmentally responsible option.
But before you make the request, there’s something you should know. There are actually a handful of things that you can do right now to reduce the packaging and carbon footprint of your Amazon orders.
With 3 simple hacks, you can directly change how much packaging waste you’ll end up with, and get rid of the eco-guilt that comes with it.
To find out what these hacks are, download my FREE Guide on How to Instantly Reduce Your Amazon Packaging. And say buh-bye to the excessive air pillows, the oversized boxes with tiny products inside, and the insane amount of fossil fuels used to deliver those packages. As an added bonus, I’ll also show you how to persuade Amazon to use more eco-friendly packaging with just one click.
Does any of this actually make a difference?
I thought you might ask that. So let’s hear from someone who’s successfully lowered her Amazon packaging waste:
Shelbi is an aspiring zero-waster who uses Amazon to source sustainable products she can’t find locally. Since contacting amazon AND utilizing the same tools mentioned in my Amazon Packaging Guide, she’s noticed a decrease in plastic fillers and overall packaging (despite experiencing the occasional plastic air pillow). “I use Amazon to buy things I can’t otherwise find in stores [like bamboo toothbrushes]. It has definitely saved me a lot of plastic waste, time, and fuel, [which collectively] cuts down on my carbon emissions.”
Moving forward, if one of these suckers ends up in your Amazon delivery, you can visit How2Recycle.info, which is an online resource for learning about which plastics are recyclable and where your local drop off locations are. They might be nearer than you think! You can also drop them off at a local grocery. If they collect them, there’s usually a bin right at the entrance.
At the end of the day, online shopping isn’t going anywhere, so we need to create the most sustainable model possible. In 2016, there were over 310 million active Amazon accounts (Statista). Imagine if even 0.0001% of those people contacted Amazon to give them feedback about their packaging. Who knows . . . maybe your feedback will encourage Amazon to introduce carbon-neutral shipping. Fingers crossed!