Dear Amazon, I write you this letter because I have found no way to send you a suggestion through your website on how to improve your service to this consumer. Here are a few suggestions that will save time, money, and carbon emissions.
Amazon Suggestions For Conservation For Consumers
- I don’t need one day delivery. While some consumers absolutely have to have their Amazon purchases the next day, I don’t. Please give me an option to opt out of next day delivery.
- Please hold the order until it is complete. Often what I find is that not all of the items I have ordered are available to be shipped the next day. So, my one order becomes two deliveries. I can wait several days for the order to be complete before you ship it to me.
- I don’t need my hair gel protected by a bulky cardboard box. I genuinely enjoy the Amazon shopping experience and delivery options. I have been mortified at the amount of cardboard all of my products are wrapped in. You need to find a way to reduce your use of cardboard. My last three products (hair gel, feline flea treatment, toothbrushes) could have easily been delivered in a paper bag. Had I purchased these items at a local store, I would have used one of my recyclable bags, no cardboard.
I am self-employed and lean towards shopping local and patronizing small businesses. I reluctantly turned to Amazon as I found some of my favorite products were either no longer stocked locally or were super expensive. For example, no retail establishment in the greater Sacramento region stocks a replacement cutter and foil for my old, but operational, Braun electric razor. I would not expect Target, Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS to stock such a product. But it is on Amazon. Another goofy product I like, but has been dropped from local stores, is the Groom and Clean hair gel stuff. It works for me, is cheap, and I can buy it on Amazon.
One of the rationales I use to keep purchasing through Amazon is the delivery is more efficient. For me to buy several of the products, if I could even find a store that stocked the item, I would have to drive all over town. That means a lot of miles and wasted gas relative to a single delivery direct to my home.
Saving Fuel, Saving The Environment
I’ve been thinking a lot about use of gasoline as I contemplate buying a new car. My 2002 Honda CRV has 285,000 miles on it and while it still runs decently, I’m afraid to travel too far from home for fear of an epic breakdown. I also would like a vehicle with better gas mileage. The CRV averages 23 mpg around town and 27 mpg on flat freeway driving.
First, I looked at the Subaru Forrester with 28 city and 33 mpg freeway. Then I saw the RAV4 Hybrid at 40 mpg average. Next, I learned that Toyota would be coming out with a plug-in RAV4 Hybrid with even greater fuel efficiency. As I performed my educational research on hybrid electric cars, Australia was gripped by massive wildfires fueled by climate change.
One person told me that they saw no point in moving to more fuel-efficient cars because big industry, such as coal fired electrical plants, were the big emitters of carbon dioxide. Hence, my potential conservation efforts were only a drop in the bucket.
However, in the last year, I started bringing my own coffee mug to my local Starbucks or Peet’s coffee. The use of refilling my coffee container has reduced my consumption of at least 20 to 40 paper cups. For years I have been using my own reusable shopping bags at the grocery store. I even ordered hundreds of reusable grocery bags with my business logo on it to give away to clients.
Yes, my conservation efforts are a drop in the bucket. But all of those little drops add up over time. And when you multiply my efforts by other people who have changed their consumer habits, it begins to shift the demand curve for fuel, containers, and packaging. Small savings can add up to big improvements for our environment.
Finally, Amazon, I hope you will consider electric hybrid vehicles for your deliveries in the future. Most of the products you are delivering are light weight consumer items like socks, hair gel, and tooth brushes. Do you need gasoline or diesel vehicles to deliver those products?
One concluding suggestion is that Amazon put a link on their website for consumers to make suggestions for improvements and efficiency. I understand your analysis for efficiency leans toward making your operations more profitable. But there is no harm in considering what your consumers may find more agreeable when it comes to receiving the products they purchase on the Amazon website. Many of us would like options that reduce carbon emissions such as not having overnight delivery, waiting for a complete order to arrive, or receiving our purchased items in bags instead of cardboard boxes.
An Amazon consumer who wants to try and save the Amazon rain forest.