Go for No-Rush Shipping this Prime Day


It’s hard not to get sucked into the capitalist vortex on Prime Day. Look at these offers and try to keep your credit card in your wallet. But if you can’t resist the urge to buy something, you should at least consider opting for slower delivery. That might sound silly, since Amazon offers free two-day shipping for Prime members, and giving up that perk might seem like a waste of your monthly subscription fee. But listen to me – just because you box having your items delivered in two days does not necessarily mean that you should. Here are some good reasons to consider opting for slower delivery:

The first reason, and perhaps the most pressing, is the environmental benefits. Transportation remains the largest source of emissions in the United States, clocking in at 27%. About a quarter of that comes from freight trucks like those used by Amazon, and 8% from airplanes. In the air, Amazon carries out approximately 160 flights per day with its fleet. Once these flights have made their deliveries, Amazon’s trucks will often take on smaller, less efficient loads in order to meet the two-day delivery deadlines. After all, trucks can’t wait for more shipments to arrive so they can make more stops.

Consolidating deliveries means less fuel burned and less impact on the environment.

The more flexible you are, dear buyer, on delivery times, the more boxes trucks can fill, which ultimately reduces the number of trips they have to make. A study estimates that if a truck makes less than six stops during a trip, this loses efficiency of scale and, from an emissions perspective, it is just as advantageous for a consumer to walk to the nearest store and pick up the desired item themselves. Consolidating deliveries means less fuel burned and less impact on the environment.

Now, Amazon says its shipping system has gotten so good that fast shipping is just the result of a strong network of warehouses that are already stocked with common products for that region. This could mean you get products quickly and in low-carbon ways because they’re already in the neighborhood and have been delivered at scale. But even if that’s the case, there’s still another good reason to opt for slower shipping: the human cost. Amazon workers are already at their wit’s end trying to squeeze all this out. Prime Day only exacerbates this existing stress.

You have probably heard of Amazon drivers urinate in bottles because they can’t afford bathroom breaks. Prime Day really ups the ante, generating employee injuries, 12 hours a day all weekAnd one revival of strikes. There is a definite human cost to shopping sprees that is not reflected in the price. The need to rush is what puts the crunch on these people. Any willingness to get a package a few days later gives these overworked employees some much-needed breathing room.

Remember that Amazon makes many decisions for you to expedite your checkout. This includes the assumption that you want two-day shipping. When shopping on Prime Day, take the minute to switch from default two-day shipping and explore slower ground shipping options. They won’t always be available, and chances are a plane has been involved in the making of your product at some point, but it’s always worth minimizing the impact.

The best of all? Amazon has something called no rush shipping which generates discounts and rewards if you sign up. Not only can slower shipping save you money this way, but you alleviate the human and environmental stresses caused by an advanced schedule. Also, let’s be honest. The thing you’re buying probably isn’t that urgent to justify all those costs incurred behind the scenes.

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