Will Bezos Save The Planet Before Destroying It?

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Jeff Bezos – key player and leader of Amazon.com, the world’s largest online supermarket – has pledged to spend billions of dollars to fight climate change.

Still of Bezos Instagram post

This is truly amazing and we need more people to step up and challenge modern day thinking about how people and economies should interact.

Let’s start with Amazon. I’m not afraid to admit that I frequently use Amazon.

In the long-run, I see a fleet of Amazon trucks doing routine deliveries all up and down our little suburban neighbourhoods, with the rest of us, well, fighting for space within our already crowded roads.

With that in mind, let’s encourage Amazon to ‘talk the talk and walk the walk’ before demanding everyone else take a leadership role.

So, Jeff Bezos and Amazon, let’s begin in your own backyard, so to speak.

Point one: repair our roads.

It seems counter-intuitive at first, but hear me out.

As it stands, if Canada were to get 3% of that $10 billion, it would equate to a mere $300 million. Now, some of us in smaller municipalities could easily repair many roads with $300 million extra for budget, but the reality is that our bigger cities – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver – needs TENS of billions in support in order to make their transit more efficient.

But at least we’d repair some of the bigger routes with repaving and resurfacing. This action would benefit you, Amazon and your drivers almost immediately because they wouldn’t have to take alternate routes because the main ones are so decayed.

And, you’d be able to claim that you’re not freeloading off the backs of taxpayers (ie. your customers) and municipalities that, honestly, can’t really afford these kind of megaprojects on a routine basis.

Don’t forget: because roads exist, Amazon exists.

Next, let’s talk about the vehicles they use. If Jeff Bezos and Amazon were serious about climate change, they’d turn the spotlight to themselves and force all delivery vehicles to be 100% rechargeable and electric. That includes third-parties to which they sub-contract.

Amazon stretching out their hands to another potential partner – eg. Tesla – would go a long way to pushing us into the 21st century and away from the age of the internal combustion engine. Establishing an electric fleet for ALL deliveries would guarantee you’d be the only online company I order from. Others would follow suit quickly.

Third, they should invest in regional ‘nodes’ of charging stations to ensure that there is at least 1 station per, say, 1,000 cars (or whatever math the gas companies use) and 5,000 people. This would ensure that they are leading the way with electric infrastructure and also encourage others that are on the fence when it comes to knowing that they can charge their cars when they need to.

A good place to start would be public parking garages and other downtown facilities that would allow for full charging through the day without really upsetting the balance of things with parking infrastructure.

Of course, you’d also have to have some ‘along the way’, so why not invest in a little ‘vertical integration’ and have a charging station, a coffee shop and, I don’t know … maybe a couple of books or magazines that people could browse?

Fourth, packaging. If so many products are basically hand-delivered, why does Amazon insist on so much extra packaging?

Next, and related to packaging: develop programs with test cities that focus on 100% re-use (better than recycling) of Amazon packaging and materials. If the box is treated properly and the plastic bubble packaging isn’t poked into oblivion, it can be re-used.

If that’s not an option, at least try to develop ways that your packaging materials can be ‘harvested’, sorted, chopped/sliced and recycled as something else. Go the extra mile and invest in ‘harvesting’ centres across the planet and stop contributing to the loss of trees and valuable forests so we can have pristine boxes with every delivery.

Another consideration? Live up to your name. The Amazon is being ripped up at a record pace thanks to right-wing, earth-hating, money-loving Jair Bolsonaro. Invest in ways to ruin any prospect of him and his cronies ever being elected again and PROTECT THE DAMN RAIN FORESTS AND THEIR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!!!

Finally, make your $10 billion pledge an ANNUAL gift program and focus on specific areas or cities that would bump up the acceleration and adoption of green programs across the globe. Hell, have a contest on an annual basis, much like you did with the second headquarters a while back. I promise you I would encourage my local municipality to submit a proposal every year and you could do crazy stuff like make a Netflix series about it.

So there you go, Jeff. A practical and also creative list from a lay-person to you to help Amazon minimize it’s impact on the planet.

Of course, this doesn’t even begin to touch the relationships with Amazon and China, shipping and other systems that need to be addressed!

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