Green and Amazon

Today I was thinking about one of my favorite things, Amazon! I’m not going to lie, I love the fact I can buy pretty much anything on Amazon and have it delivered to me in short order. This is the world we live in and a vast majority of people feel the same way I do about the convenience that Amazon offers. But, I feel there is an elephant in the room when it comes to the reality of Amazon and the havoc I’m sure it is causing environmentally.

What do I mean? Take my last order for example. I needed some items for my families 72 hour kits. So I ordered it all on Amazon. Most of the items I ended up keeping except a few. This is when I had a thought cross my mind. When I order an item on Amazon so I can sit my lazy butt on the couch and have it delivered to me what takes place? The order gets packed and shipped. Shipping is done by truck for the most part, and I’d say most of the items I get probably aren’t shipped from a local warehouse. In fact it seems a vast majority are shipped from Vegas for me. So, a truck drives from Vegas to SLC (400 miles). The same item, could be purchased most likely from a local store that is within a 10 mile radius from my home. The environmental impact would be drastically reduced if I drove my semi eco-friendly Subaru 10 miles rather than have a big rig drive 400+ miles for the same item. Then….add in the fact that a lot of times items get sent back for whatever reason. Most my returns end up going back to Vegas, so the harsh reality is that I paid for an item and it went over 800 miles for me to not keep it.

I know that this is a simplistic breakdown and that all of the stores that I mention that are local have items shipped to them also. I think the difference is that Amazon has taken off and grown so quickly that we have no real idea of what the environmental effects will be. The point of this post isn’t to cause argument or make anyone feel bad, because like I said I am a HUGE Amazon user. All I am trying to do here is bring a fact that I feel most of us don’t think about to the forefront of our minds so that we can be better advocates for our planet.

How do we fix this issue? I have no idea, and I’d love to hear comments or input from any of you out there as to what I’ve said.

Dan MadsenComment