The convenience of shopping on Amazon is hard to beat. You can order something with one click and have it at your doorstep within 2 days. How can you compete with that?

Amazon has become such a resource to so many people that it is hard to pass it up. Well, here are 4 ways that you can order from Amazon more sustainably…..

Ask for Less Plastic Packaging

With ordering anything online, you see a bit more waste with the box and the inside package fillers. However, there is a very simple way to cut way back on the plastic you receive from these vendors:

Simply email customer service (cs-reply@amazon.com) and ask them to make your account a plastic-free packaging account. 

This isn’t foolproof. The customer service rep manually enters this note in your file and it is still up to the distributor how they package it. However, I have seen a dramatic change in the packages I receive since sending this email.

Here is the email I sent:

Hi Amazon Customer Service,
I hope you are having a great day!
I would like to request that my orders from the account associated with 
this email address be packaged with the least amount of plastic as 
possible. Please make a note in my file to avoid items such as bubble 
wrap, plastic bags, and other plastic fillers. 
Thank you for your help!

This has been tested by many people and so many companies are happy to comply with this sustainable movement. Once I started doing this, my boxes come with mostly brown paper filler in which I either burn, compost, or recycle.

Ask Items to be Shipping Together

When ordering multiple items on one order, ask for them all to be shipped together. This will decrease the number of individual boxes that you are consuming and the packaging inside. Another quick and easy one-time fix!

Opt Out of 2 Day Shipping When Possible

So we all know we don’t always need our purchase within 2 days…although it is so nice, opt for the “Rush-Free” shipping method. This will cut down on transportation emissions from possible overnight flights or other fast options to get your package to you in the quickest way possible. Take a deep breath, be patient, and wait just a few more days when possible.

Look At Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP)

According to Amazon, Frustration-Free Packaging is “Recyclable and does not include excess packaging materials, such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties.” Currently, there are about 800,000 items and counting apart of FFP. You just have to look for one of two keys to know an item is FFP:

An item says “in easy-to-open packaging” in the shipping details

or

If “Frustration-Free Packaging” is in the title of the product

Look for Local or Small Businesses to Buy From

You do not always have to support the big, international companies on Amazon. There are so many sellers that you can very frequently find vendors that are local or smaller businesses. I try to look into their company details before purchasing from there so I know who my money is supporting. It may take a bit more time than just clicking “Buy Now”, but it is well worth it to support a smaller business owner.

With these five tips, your Amazon ordering has the ability to be much more sustainable and even sometimes, close to “zero-waste”. They are all quick and easy fixes that can allow you to take advantage of the convenience and options on Amazon in a sustainable matter.

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