OPINION: Convenience is Complacency: Why Gen Z Needs to Cancel Amazon

OPINION: Convenience is Complacency: Why Gen Z Needs to Cancel Amazon

Paloma DeLaFuente
eSomethin Staff

How many times a week does someone tell you they bought something from Amazon? Is it a good thing that we use Amazon so much? If you operate like most in the modern age of technology, I can almost say for certain you have used Amazon. 

A classmate asked me why I don’t like Amazon: “It’s bad for the environment,” I said.

They responded, saying, “Yeah, but it’s convenient.”

I admit that I was shocked by the ignorance of this response. This was a prime (pun intended) example of how the convenience of Amazon had outshined its atrocities. 

According to Oceana , “e-commerce packaging data found that Amazon generated 599 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2020”. That same report also found “that Amazon’s estimated plastic packaging waste, in the form of air pillows alone, would circle the Earth more than 600 times.” Oceana estimated that “23.5 million pounds of Amazon’s plastic packaging waste entered and polluted the world’s waterways and oceans in 2020, the equivalent of dumping a delivery van payload of plastic into the oceans every 67 minutes.”

These few statistics are horrifying and keep in mind that these are just from 2020. It is fair to estimate that the numbers have only grown since them. Yet, Amazon continues to attract young people with its illusion of cheap conveniences. Amazon fulfills young people’s need for infinite instant gratification while saving them money. They have eliminated the need to leave your house to shop for anything because whenever you need something, Amazon has it. However, this so-called convenience is really a one-way street. With a couple of clicks, your package is on its way to your door. 

I admit that I was astonished by how many people told me that they were ordering homecoming outfits from Amazon. For a collective that claims to be so conscientious about the planet, they are quick to contribute to the cycles of fast fashion. This is just one facet of Gen Z’s false sense of self-awareness which they use to justify their apathy. A sticker on your computer that says “Save the planet” is enough to justify constantly using Amazon. I have found this to be a common pattern among “Gen Z”- virtue signaling. There is major social and political concern surrounding climate change; it is arguably one of the defining issues of our time. However, the motive behind climate justice is frequently misplaced. Posting on Instagram or any social media is only a fraction of the lifestyle change that makes a real impact. It can feel powerless, like you don’t have the power to change anything. I would challenge you to not accept this complacent thinking. Change your daily habits like using Amazon- individual change impacts the greater cause. 

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