How to Instantly Reduce your Amazon Packaging

How to Instantly Reduce your Amazon Packaging
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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 you have to figure out how to throw away.

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 given Amazon packaging feedback. So how were they supposed to know if people (as eco-conscious as me) weren’t contacting them to let them know their packaging was wasteful? And . . . why would they change their practices if I didn’t tell them that minimal, eco-friendly packaging was important to me?

Image of an opened box with plastic air pillows coming out of it


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 get the insider scoop on these hacks, you can 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. And as an added bonus, I’ll also show you how to persuade Amazon to use more eco-friendly packaging with just one click.

Download My Free Guide On How To Instantly Reduce Your Amazon Packaging:

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Shop My Eco-Friendly Amazon Store


But 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 them with her amazon packaging feedback 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.”

–  Shelbi (a.k.a. Shelbizleee on YouTube) – FYI: her YouTube page has a ton of videos for lowering your waste.


Image of a Plastic Air Pillow


Moving forward, if one of these suckers ends up in your Amazon delivery, you can visit, 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 packaging feedback will encourage Amazon to introduce carbon-neutral shipping. Fingers crossed!


Image of two Shipping boxes


Shop My Eco-Friendly Amazon Store



Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions or comments, you can post a comment below.




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32 thoughts on “How to Instantly Reduce your Amazon Packaging”

  • Love, love, love this article! I am just starting a company that acts as a thrift shop for reusable packing supplies ( When you do get packaging supplies in the mail save it up and out it on craigslist or another retail site – small businesses in your area will appreciate it.

    • Hey Devon, I just checked out your website and I really admire and respect what you’re doing! That’s a great tip about collecting the materials and posting about it on craigslist. I bet a lot of people or businesses could use the supplies when they’re shipping something or moving. This is a perfect example that there are many ways to get to zero waste 🙂

    • Thanks Kate! I believe the key to getting people make environmentally friendly choices is to make it as as as humanly possible 🙂
      I checked out the blog that you write for. It’s got some really great tips and ideas 🙂

  • I would love to use the option of requesting less or no plastic in my Amazon orders. But I’m wondering, if I do make this request, how will they pack and ship fragile items? I’d like to make sure some things will be packed appropriately. Thanks for the great idea!

    • Hey Marcie,
      Amazon is always going to make product protection a first priority. Rest assured, making the request for less packaging won’t be prioritized over protecting fragile items.

  • Oh man, thank you for creating that pre-made form that asks for less packaging on Amazon. I personally tried cancelling Amazon prime and favoring buying items in person, but let’s just say that’s not practical. I love the idea of working WITH the inevitably-ubiquitous companies instead of fighting against them and making nearly-impossible wishes upon society. Signed up for your newsletter, thanks for the great tips.

    • Hey Jennifer! I’m so glad you found it helpful. My dad always said that in order to create change, you have to do it from the inside. If I simply shamed Amazon, where would that get me? People are still going to use Amazon, including my household, so the best thing we can do is to work with them and give them constructive feedback. Maybe one day, Amazon will be the sustainable go-to, but they won’t get there unless we ask for it :). Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

    • Hi Chris, can you share more about the initiative and how it is counteracting the unsustainable use of excessive packaging?

  • Ii am one of those people that complain about the waste of all the packaging. Thanks for the tips!

  • If you have Amazon Prime, and who doesn’t, opt for slower delivery. This lowers the carbon footprint of your order by allowing Amazon to group deliveries. They also give you $1.00 which can be used for digital downloads.

    • That is a really great tip, as it allows Amazon to transport their packages in vehicles and planes that are strategically packed to capacity, rather than sending a half-full plane of packages so that everyone can get their deliveries the next day

  • Admirable initiative. Makes it easy to take action. Would love to know how many people have actually used this super easy approach to make the request to Amazon.

  • I made the request yesterday and received what I consider to be a rather unusual response:

    “Thanks for contacting with your inquiry.
    I really don’t want to you see in more trouble and would like to make things simple for you.
    From your email message, I can understand that you want us to add a note on your account to avoid extra packaging when possible.
    I’d like to help you but currently we don’t have an option to make a note on your account. I hope you’ll understand our limitations in this regard.
    However, I’ve forwarded your packaging feedback to our appropriate department. Each report they receive is investigated and the appropriate action is taken.
    We hope to see you again soon.”

    Has anyone else gotten a similar response?

    • Hey Melissa, the beginning sentence of the response you received is a bit strange indeed. I have received feedback from another person who received a similar response saying that they didn’t offer the option. They were based in Canada. Here is the response I received from them when I made the request: “I appreciate your interest in environmental friendly packaging for your orders and I’ll send this as a feedback and instruction to the concerned packaging team such that they’ll use this instruction while packing your order.” But as I mention above in the blog, this is more of a hopeful request. It’s ultimately up to Amazon’s fulfillment center to abide by your request, but it is important to let Amazon know that their packaging is wasteful and that people demand a more environmentally responsible alternative. Two other very effective ways of reducing your packaging is to (1) opt for “frustration-free packaging” (details are above), (2) group your orders so that they come in less boxes and deliveries, and (3) to continually give them feedback about the packaging you receive. I hope that helps 🙂

  • Great article!! I love that you made it so convenient to reach out to Amazon. I just shared this post with many of my friends and I know some of them are really excited that there are people concerned and doing something about Amazon’s plastic waste. I wondered if you have multiple people with different profiles on the same amazon prime account if it makes a difference if they all reach out or just the head person?

    • Hey Sara,
      Thank you so much!
      I think its probably best to the lead name on the account. As long as you put down the email associated with the account, then that is the main thing because they can verify the account through the email.

  • Another option is to shop elsewhere. If you can, shop locally as much as possible, and voila! No more bubble wrap, zero plastic airbags. For those for whom that is not an option: many, many non-Amazon sites have stopped using plastic in their packaging at all. In fact most packages I get these days, after virtually stopping shopping on Amazon, use various configurations of cardboard and paper to keep the products safe. Prices are sometimes comparable, sometimes a lot lower, sometimes higher than Amazon, but I feel good having backed away from that conglomerate. I think the whole concept of paying for a Prime account encourages over-consumption anyway, and there is nothing “eco” about that.

    • Hi Mary, You have made many valid points. There are lots of other online websites that actively avoid plastic, two in particular that are really tackling our plastic pollution problem head-on are EarthHero and Life Without Plastic. The more we can support sustainable businesses like that, the better. With that said, Amazon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and for the 300+ million Amazon shoppers who are not willing to shop elsewhere, I hope these proactive solutions can have an impact on the waste created through amazon purchases.

  • I received an order for a book of all things in a plastic wrapper and stumbled on to this article while looking for a way to send feedback to Amazon. Thanks for the tips! I used the form to request less packaging for other orders, but when I sent an email to it was bounced back as ‘an address that does not accept incoming e-mails.’

    I did, however, speak to Amazon directly by going through the ‘My orders’ section and finding a way to start an online chat. I raised my concerns about the use of plastic over a cardboard envelope. The representative was very apologetic as we’ve come to expect from these online chat systems even for the smallest inconvenience, and said the feedback will be forwarded to the ‘packaging’ team. I guess I’ll never know if anything will come of this, but as you mentioned it’s important to give this feedback otherwise nothing will change anyway!

    • Hi Mathew,
      Thank for letting me know this. I wonder if they’ve gotten sick of us writing to them and possibly changed their customer service email. I will look into this asap to see if there is a new email that people can reach out to them at. I really appreciate you giving me the heads up on this!

    • Hi Matthew,
      I did a test with the Amazon email/contact form and it is working correctly. I’m not sure why the email bounced back to you, but I’m glad you were able to speak to a customer service representative via their chat box.
      – Shannon

  • I think it’s better to make the effort to shop locally and patronize places that don’t use plastic packaging if you possibly can. I’ve been able to do this with a little extra effort. I look for the option that uses a paper package, which I shred and compost. Glass or metal are next since they can be recycled. Plastic is the option I will only choose if there is no other choice, and if I feel I can’t do without.

  • Before you order from Amazon, try to find your item online at a store you have locally, like Walmart or Target, and have your item delivered there for pickup. You can request reduced packaging AND also save fuel and other transportation costs at the same time. Some of the Target stores are also delivering your online orders right to your car for you!

    • That’s a great idea! I wonder if ordering at a local store (like Target) uses the same delivery method as online shopping or if they simply grab it from their local inventory. Do you know? I’m very curious.

  • This was the best. Thank you for sharing these tips. I just emailed them to reduce packaging and I will keep them and post on craigslist going forward. Thank you all.

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