Are you interested in helping home-bound mamas everywhere shop more responsibly and support a little consumer activism? If yes, please read on…….And thanks for taking the time to hear me out.
I woke up the other day just feeling really pissed about many things, all of them basically rooted in fossil fuel extraction and the systematic oppression of life on the planet earth at the hands of…….wait, me???????
I know we all struggle with this, feelings of sadness and anger and frustration when filling up our gas tanks, feelings of helplessness at our own gross consumerism and carbon footprints on this planet. In our daily life, every step of the way, we are making choices that effect each other and the fragile systems that keep our societies and our earth in a quickly tipping balance.
I, for one, am an Amazon shopper. I’m a mom, and a city-dweller who is caught up in the frenzy of trying to keep up the pace of life, providing for family and trying to do good in the ways that I know how. And shopping on Amazon instead of leaving my house to fight traffic to get to my local department store/small business is a major convenience for me.
But having been in a process of stepping back to observe myself and life around me since having a little baby, I see a really major and dangerous flaw in sacrificing my own values and the values of the collective in the name of convenience. I had been so caught up in it, I wasn’t even really that aware of just how much I was going against my own values, and how much shopping through Amazon was enabling that gross oversight.
Living in Seattle, we see the effects of Amazon in our lives beyond our own patronage of their business. We see how the soul of the city is slipping fast out the back door with the influx of folks moving in from other places, buying up homes and working their asses off for tech giants like Amazon.
Gentrification, traffic and slow retail sales for local businesses are just two side affects of this influx, to name just a few. There are probably a bevy of arguments for the good side of Amazon (used books are rad) but they are not of any concern to me today. Today, I have a specific request.
I entertained a few hours of boiling anger and rage against the machine.
I marinated a while in my anger and finger pointing. I lamented over and over how Amazon was killing my soul. I whined in the mirror about how I am powerless to the Buy in one Click button. I moaned over the misalignment of my values and my dollars, and how I feel so preyed upon by the conundrum of modern life and the sparkle and shine of ‘convenience’ and how convenience is not a value of mine. I stewed over the fact that I’m am quite sure that if you were to take a poll of this city, you would not find that convenience was anyones core value, taking precedence over things like Taking Care of the Commons (our planet earth) and each other. Yet we empower Amazon to perpetuate this misalignment for us by making it too easy to not buy.
I thought of all the times I type in what I am looking for, and 25 of the same things pop up. And I don’t know which one to get so I just press ‘buy now’ blindly, in what feels like a small violence to my own inner truth.
And then I remembered something I have been telling my kids a lot lately. Complaining without action is called whining. And I am a whining white woman of great privilege. I am a part of the problem on so many levels. And it is up to me, as a concerned consumer to raise a flag in a free market system if I want to see a solution.
If you are still here, reading, thank you and I love you. Here is my solution, which is a drop in the bucket and a small ask for accountability of a corporate giant, with the larger intention of changing the AMAZON conversation from one of CONVENIENCE to one of CONSCIOUS CONVENIENCE, one tiny step closer to a collaboration of CONSUMER, ENVIRONMENTAL AND CORPORATE EMPOWERMENT.
I want a ‘ Shop Local’ section of AMAZON, a place where local business can stay afloat with the support of Amazon through a searchable category that will direct consumers to shop for their items closer to home.
I want AMAZON to design a function which allows us to see the original geographic source of our item, so we can choose our items based on proximity to us, saving the fossil fuels that are used in shipping, freight, trucking and refridgeration/climate control. I want to be able to make informed choices when using the platform of Amazon to make purchases. I think it would be a win/win.
I contacted AMAZON yesterday, through their contact me page, which began as a text conversation. They quickly offered a call-back, and I spoke for an hour with a kind woman named Abby who listened, and pointed me in the right direction. I am now awaiting an email back from higher-ups in the company. Abby said she would start a file of quandaries and complaints about our inability to shop more responsibly buy purchasing more locally.
Today, I invite you to contact Amazon and ask them to Keep it Local.
Please call Amazon customer service today at 1-888-280-4331. Press 0. You will be connected to a real person. They tend to be very helpful and cheerful, and good listeners, from my experience. Don’t be afraid.
Tell them you are a concerned shopper who would like to be able to be shop more responsibly through their platform by choosing to shop more locally.
Tell them you want to see a ‘ Shop Local’ section of AMAZON, a place where local business can stay afloat with the support of Amazon through a searchable category that will direct consumers to shop for their items closer to home.
Tell them you want AMAZON to design a function which allows us to see the original geographic source of our item, so we can choose our items based on proximity to us, saving the fossil fuels that are used in shipping, freight, trucking and refridgeration/climate control. I want to be able to make informed choices when using the platform of Amazon to make purchases. I think it would be a win/win.
Then, share this information with your friends. Share it on social media with the hashtag #amazonkeepitlocal
Encourage people to call in. We can totally do this. Let’s use our voices to help us use our dollars more responsibly. Amazon is fully capable of this, and is in a position to lead the way so its up to us to steer them in the right direction.
Thoughts? Advice? Experience? Please share.