The pub I drive past most mornings has a sign outside offering “Lo or No” alcholic beverages. It is, of course Dry January. I’m also seeing lots more joggers out and about at the moment, making good on their resolutions to shed some kilos.
The thing I’ve decided to give up – for January at least, and then we’ll see how it goes – is Amazon.
Binging on Amazon
Don’t get me wrong, Amazon is great in many ways. It totally understands that few of us have the time to nip out at lunchtime to browse the available shops for what we need. And so it provides absolutely everything, with easy delivery.
And let me tell you, over the years I have really bought into it – with everything from office supplies through to kilos of cashew nuts arriving on my doorstep or at the studio in those brown packages.
It’s been too easy. I’ve never been a big sleeper, so at night I’ll flick through recipes, gardening and craft ideas on my iPad. Within seconds, by the power of One Click buying, I’ll go on to order icing bag nozzles, balls of wool, seed packets and inconceivable volumes of bits and bobs.
Often, by the time they arrive – swathed in plastic and bearing Chinese postal marks – I’ve forgotten that I’ve ordered them. What… the ..? I’ll think to myself, as two meters of mini pom-pom trim and a fondant mould tip out of a grey plastic bag.
When Amazon gets uncomfortable
In recent months, the whole Amazon thing has become a bit less shiny. We now know that some tat from China is made with prison labour. And we’ve all – at one time or another – scratched our heads at the sheer amount of unnecessary packaging that can accompany an Amazon delivery. Hands up if your recycling bin is full of Amazon swooshes.
And then there’s the traffic element. Gazillions of people out and about in their own cars, delivering all this stuff – and making several return trips if you’re not in when they call.
When Amazon is downright annoying
Then there’s the single-use plastic all over the place. Bags, bubble wrap and billows and billows of plastic air pillows.
I paid my corporate tax bill at the end of last year on the same day that our local council put a flyer through my door about proposed cuts. I glared at an Amazon box over in the corner of my office, thinking: “You buggers should really be paying your way.”
Amazon, of course, is simply providing a marketplace. And I’m guessing it doesn’t condone prison labour. And it doesn’t force me to buy tat. And it says it pays a lot of other types of taxes, so there’s no need for any knicker-twisting about corporation tax.
So I’ve decided to step away from the brown box – and go at least a whole month without a delivery. And then, who knows, maybe I’ll venture back out onto the High Street. Or just stop buying tat and use what I’ve already got. My recycling bin is already thanking me for it.