There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day and the merrier the better. We are celebrating it this year in a collaboration with Lulu in a special Earth Day contest, and we also participate in the Earth Day Network's A Billion of Acts of Green! campaign. But today we wanted to share with you another action which we believe is valuable, effective, important and appropriate for Earth Day:
Say NO to Amazon.com. In other words, don't buy there anything today.
You're probably asking yourself why avoiding Amazon.com is a demonstration of a commitment to mother earth? The short answer is that while Amazon, one of the most successful companies in the world, had all the potential to become a force of good and a leader in the transition movement to a low-carbon economy, it has became just the opposite. Amazon has become an example for a company that only cares about the bottom line. Amazon doesn't seem to care too much about the environment nor to take into consideration stakeholders' environmental concerns.
Here are 5 examples that will show you what we exactly talk about:
1. Amazon got the worst grades on Greenpeace’s latest report How Clean is Your Cloud on the resources of energy it uses for its data centers. It received "F" for transparencey - "AWS [Amazon Web Services] has seen tremendous growth over the past year, but fails to disclose information on its environmental footprint at either a company-wide or facility level" and "F" for Renewable Energy Investment - Despite its significant size and resources, AWS does not appear to have made any purchases or investments in renewable electricity for its facilities. AWS is currently falling out of step with other major cloud companies who are putting in place a long-term business strategy that accounts for impacts the company will face due to climate change."
2. Amazon, unlike 70% of the S&P 500 companies, does not respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) questionnaire, asking corporations to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks.
3. Amazon opposed last year a shareholder resolution calling the company to prepare a report that will assess the impact of climate change on Amazon and make it public.
4. Amazon doesn't reply to any inquires from stakeholders like media or research groups about the carbon footprint of its no. 1 product -the Kindle.
5. Amazon is aggressively competing with small local businesses using its price comparison app ("evil app"), which was promoted last year with discounts for anyone who goes to brick and mortar retailers, but chooses to buy at Amazon.
If we can learn something from Amazon's behavior (see the example of “frustration-free packaging”), it is that Amazon only cares about something when its customers care about it. So I think there's no better day than Earth Day to start showing Amazon we care about the environment and society and prefer to use online retailers that also care about these issues and aren't ignoring them.
If Amazon will listen, and again, unfortunately it seems this is the only way to get Amazon to listen, it can still take the lead and become a driving force in the transition to a low-carbon economy. But to get there, we, the consumers, need to act first and make sure Amazon knows mother earth should be taken into consideration 365 days a year.
Happy Earth Day,
Raz @ Eco-Libris
Plant a tree for every book you read!