Destroying (the) Amazon – Think Local by Morag Warrack

We have decided to remove sponsorship from Amazon from our website with the realisation that it contributes to so many of the problems we are all striving to resolve.

The brilliant choice of the word “Amazon” is a stroke of genius- linked with one of the most life-sustaining, essential things on the planet!

Calling a Dumfries warehouse a ‘fulfillment centre’ smacks of Orwell’s gripping novel, 1984.  Maybe it should properly be called a ‘full-Fill-ment centre’ as brand new products such as laptops and TVs are simply sent away to be buried in the ground from it, as landfill is cheaper than re-distributing them around the UK or donating them to schools and hospitals.

As the richest man in the known universe, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos made UK sales worth £14,000,000,000 in one year (2019) alone.  He has a personal fortune of £155,000,000,000.  However, he pays minimal UK tax by claiming small profits.  It seems customers are unaware of the full story of buying and throwing away, over and over again, while gradually undermining small, local businesses in the long term.   One charming designer I met cheerfully described his job, (working for several large chains based in China and Horsham) by saying, “I make landfill!”

There are huge problems tied in to big business and corporations attaching themselves to charities as ‘greenwash’ in the same way that the powerful sugar industry is ‘whitewashed’ by sponsoring cancer charities.  Looking beyond the immediate, we see that dirty fossil fuels such as the oil industry sponsor the British Museum to get the worthy and noble ‘cleanwash’ factor.  Remember how long it took for the link between tobacco and cancer to be established?  The dodgy science that the tobacco industry spawned led to it taking about 30 years.

But back to Amazon-

Can we change our behaviour? Can we imagine the whole chain beyond our home/town/country and the impacts it has on people we will never meet, and their families?

A UK company, OnBuy, based in Dorset, is creating a challenge to the giant Amazon.  UKTechNews says, “OnBuy works with the mission to revolutionise the e-commerce industry with a fair, transparent and ethical marketplace that benefits both sellers and buyers.”  How refreshing…and they pay full UK tax!

Nothing is perfect, but maybe we can make small green steps to act in line with our values because not only is it better for the planet, but that makes us happier too.  Do we really need more stuff?  Can we wait that extra few days for it? Can we pay a little more, knowing that the real cost is huge, if not immediate!?

More truth, honesty and openness is something we definitely could all do with more of just now!