Sustainable Amazon shopping? A little. Here’s how? 2023

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Sustainable purchasing is becoming more popular. Choosing eco-friendly garments or replacing single-use items with reusable ones requires a lot of thought. However, where and what you buy matter.

Supporting local businesses saves shipping’s significant carbon emissions, helping your local economy and the environment. However, shopping at downtown stores might be difficult in a world when Amazon is so pervasive.

Amazon’s convenience is appealing whether you’re looking for something rare or urgent. There are ways to reduce your effect when purchasing at Amazon.

We spoke to an Amazon official and sustainability experts on how to reduce your impact when buying at Amazon. Know this.

Climate-friendly Amazon

Amazon eco-friendly products like Blueland Cleaners have a green emblem. “The Climate Pledge Friendly badge is intended to help customers discover more-sustainable products on Amazon, identifying products that are certified by one or more of the program’s qualifying sustainability certifications,” explains Amazon sustainability PR manager Saige Kolpak.

Items with one or more certifications from over 40, including Amazon’s Compact by Design and Pre-owned Certified, receive this badge. Kolpak claims Climate Pledge Friendly has rigorous, open certifying authorities. Amazon sustainability and science specialists and third-party consultants assessed each Climate Pledge Friendly organization to ensure they are trustworthy, transparent, and scientifically defensible.

To find Climate Pledge Friendly items, browse the badge’s home page, use it as a filter on the left sidebar, or add “Sustainability” to “Your Interests” on Amazon.

You can click on these badges to see which sustainability certifications a product has. Dr. Anne Goodchild, head of the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab, believes this feature can help online customers but isn’t everything. Goodchild says, “Of course these certifications are imperfect, but they help shoppers looking for easier access to information.”

The badge distinguishes products with and without third-party certifications, but not by number or type. Dr. Kaitlin Mattos, assistant professor of environment and sustainability at Fort Lewis College, believes certifications might help consumers be environmentally responsible.

Amazon used climate-friendly degrees.

It would be wonderful if Amazon used gradations or degrees of the ‘Climate Friendly’ emblem (like bronze, silver, gold or similar that other certifications use) to distinguish products with multiple certifications.

For example, both Tide laundry detergent and Blueland laundry tabs are marked as Climate Pledge Friendly, even though Blueland’s product has many more third-party certifications (not all listed on the product’s Climate Pledge Friendly description), including EWG Verified (Tide scores a F), Leaping Bunny cruelty-free, EPA Safer Choice, and more. Blueland is also a B Corporation.

The Climate Pledge Friendly symbol may lead you to believe both products are sustainable, however they are not.

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