We don’t need to tell you that Amazon is evil, because we all know it. We all know a mega-industry like Amazon, that has eclipsed everything from department store to book shops to even local convenience stores, cannot be ethical or good. The gross figure of Jeff Bezos makes it even clearer with his wealth being bigger than any adjective can even attempt to characterise. When we talk about the richest people in the world, Bezos is approaching a whole new level; a trillionaire. To contextualise that:
A trillion is a million times a million, meaning it has 12 zeros at the end:
Stacked up as $100 bills, that pile would be 2.5 times as high as the international space station, reaching over 631 miles.
On an average salary of £27k and spending not a single penny of that incoming, it would take a person 37,037,037 years to save up a trillion pounds. Which is longer than humans have existed on earth.
Any one person having this much money isn’t ethical. Jeff Bezos could end global poverty and it would barely make a dent in his fortune, he could snap his fingers and recover countries from natural disasters and wars, he could ensure everyone has access to clean water and food. He chooses not to, coveting the wealth he’s built off the back of slave labour, refusing to pay minimum wage despite having the ability to pay for every single amazon employee’s children to go to university.
But Amazon is so convenient. While we know all this and we know we should stop shopping there, the reality of doing so is a lot harder when their services are so easy and have outpriced anywhere else. And there’s a privilege in doing so, for disabled or housebound people, Amazon is a saving grace. But for people who can shop elsewhere, whether that be physically and/or financially, we should all be trying to do so.
Starting to slowly ease off and cut down on the number of orders you’re placing, here are some easy tips on how to stop shopping on Amazon.
#1 Think Ahead
Admit it, a big part of Amazon shopping comes from the last-minute panic of a forgotten birthday. With next day delivery on pretty much everything now, some things even managing to achieve same day, Amazon is an easy fix for memory slips. So by simple planning ahead better, making sure to keep track of birthdays and trying to think ahead and sort gifts earlier, you’ll find that you’re getting better gifts as well as not giving your money to a gross company. Set up your phone calendar with alerts the week before any occasions to give you time to go into town or order elsewhere.
#2 Cancel Your Subscription
If you’re serious about cutting your addiction, that Prime subscription has to go. In January Amazon had 150 million paid prime customers, each paying $12.99 per month so the fortune racks up. That next day delivery is a huge draw to the site, so cut off the thing that makes it so tempting. If you’re struggling, imagine the 24/7 warehouse, packed with underpaid and overworked staff scrambling around a 2 am just to be able to deliver you a notebook by tomorrow, feel necessary?
#3 Find Ethical Alternatives
Once you start looking around, you’ll realise that Amazon really isn’t that revolutionary. More and more sites are offering free delivery without the side dish of gross uber-capitalism. To combat the damage being done by places like Amazon, more online shops are popping up that are partnered with charities or work with independent creators to be fairer, more ethical and supportive of the industries Amazon is crushing. One we love is Hive, which sells books and vinyls and gifts and stuff. When it comes to books, Amazon isn’t even the cheapest as places like Hive and Blackwells compare their prices to ensure they’re being competitive and accessible. I’ve spotted classics on Hive for as little as £3, so buying better might not even cost you more. But your book from Hive, delivered for free, comes from the collective stock of independent bookshops, ensuring your money is going to keeping these businesses alive. You can even browse book shops by location and opt to go and pick your purchases up from store, bringing more people to the independent high street. We love to see it.
For people that can’t simply wander into town to get stuff, more shops are adapting their systems to help. Store you never thought would offer home delivery now do and more sites are being set up to offer ethical good, like vegan household products, for accessible prices. Take some time and have a browse, Bezos will hate it.
#4 Get To Know Your Local Area
With the convenience of Amazon, a lot of us have neglected our high streets or the surrounding towns. If you’re able, dedicate more time to wandering and reacquainting yourself to what’s around you. A 20-minute bus ride away there might be a beautiful gift shop, or there might be a handy hardware shop around the corner that could help you out with whatever random DIY thing you needed to order, your town might have a monthly makers market where someone’s selling the candles they make. If you’re able to, a bit of effort and a possibly higher price tag is worth it to remove your money from an abuse industry and place it into the hands of an independent maker to help them fight back against the crushing powers of players like Amazon. We 100% promise the product you end up with will be better quality, longer-lasting, and packaged way nice.
#5 Educate Yourself And Keep Educating Yourself
Learning the realities of mass wealth and the treatment of amazon workers will put some determination into you, and continuing to read news reports on the subject will keep the fire burning as you learn new habits. Amazon is great at propaganda, making you believe their workers are having a great time making your life more convenient, but in reality, they get punished for going to the toilet and were forced to continue working without proper protection during a pandemic. Here’s some reading to do: