How to Boycott Amazon (and more reasons why you should)

Convincing Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos to help pay for protecting the Amazon rainforest is just one of many reasons to boycott the company. We’re not the first or only group promoting a boycott.

There are more than a few reasons why people should consider halting their Amazon use, beyond its sheer immensity. For instance, the company has a notably poor record when it comes to its warehouse conditions, and these warehouses are becoming more prevalent as Jeff Bezos expands his domain. The founder himself is one of the richest people in the world, and as his company rakes in profits, it has been squeezing smaller entities out of business. The Amazon playbook is to extract as much labor out of its workforce for as little money as possible through technology and automation. Meanwhile, small businesses continue to flounder as a result of its domination.

Fast Company, December 2018

Here are just a few reasons:
– Amazon exploits its workers and is anti-union. Just ask John Oliver.
– Amazon paid $0 in federal taxes last year even though it’s a multibillion dollar company where the CEO is the richest man who has ever lived.
– CEO Jeff Bezos is not only an incredible douchebag, he’s also monumentally greedy.
– When Seattle passed a measure to fight homelessness by putting a very small tax on the city’s biggest companies, like Starbucks and Amazon, they fought against it and won. Remember, they already paid no federal taxes.
– While Amazon now pays a $15 minimum wage, they dropped workers’ stock plans and bonuses when they raised wages.
– Amazon is selling facial recognition technology to police and ICE

broke-ass stewart, August 2019

But Amazon.com is a huge business, and many people rely on them. If you’re among those who shop regularly or are fans of shows on AmazonPrime, giving them up might be difficult. Here are some tips that might make the transition easier:

Buy Less Stuff: If you’re concerned about the environment, one of the kindest things you can do for the Earth is to reduce the amount of new stuff that you buy. Stop and think before making any purchase. Do I really NEED this, or do I just think I want it right now? Can I re-use something I already own? Can I try to find it on Freecycle? Can I borrow it from a neighbor or the local library (you may be able to get ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs and other material for free – ask a helpful librarian)? Will my friends and family join me for a Buy Nothing Christmas? Buying less stuff is not only much kinder to the Earth, it can save you a lot of money, to spend on doing the things that you really love to do (or spending more to shop local, buy organic, and/or get a few higher quality items that will last longer)!

Shop Local: Pressure from Amazon.com has forced many local shops out of business, but some are still around, and they need your business! When you shop local, the money is more likely to stay in your area and improve your hometown’s economic base.

Buy Used from Somewhere Else: Embrace the joy and funkiness that you can find in gently-pre-used items. Can I try to find it at a second-hand store, a used book store, a yard sale, on craigslist or eBay? How about refurbished phones and tablets on BackMarket?

Embrace Alternatives: Threshold started a Cancel Prime campaign, and claims to have “the most lovingly curated selection of Amazon and Prime alternatives anywhere.”

Published by Michelle Y. Merrill, Ph.D.

Michelle Y. Merrill, Ph.D., is an expert in international sustainability, systems and complexity, teaching and learning, biologically-inspired design, anthropology and ecology. Over decades of research, she has worked in the US, Asia and Africa studying rainforest primates and Higher Education for Sustainability. She is a published author, a respected educator and international speaker, and the founder of Novasutras. She earned her doctorate from Duke University in 2004. 

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