Alternatives to Amazon – Environmentally and Socially Responsible Holiday Retailers!

The holidays are approaching, and like many Americans, you will probably purchase a gift for a friend or family member online. As a proud Green American, however, you may be wondering how the company synonymous with online shopping, Amazon, ranks in terms of sustainability and social responsibility. We did some research on the issue, and found that by most corporate standards, Amazon does poorly in these fields. amazon-alternatives-ad-only250x

For the past year, Green America and its allies have been pressing Amazon to take action on climate change. In response, Amazon has taken two significant steps: it hired Kara Hurst, the former CEO of the Sustainability Consortium, as its first-ever sustainability director, and it revealed that the company has a goal of using 100% renewable energy to power its servers. However, unlike competitors that have announced a transition to renewable energy Amazon does not provide a timeline for the transition and has made no real commitments to clean energy. Amazon’s data centers burn an ever-growing amount of energy generated by dirty fossil sources, and Greenpeace ranks them among the worst in transparency, infrastructure siting, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas mitigation, and renewable energy investment and advocacy.

Despite hiring a sustainability executive with an impressive resume this year, Amazon currently has no published sustainability report, at a time when almost every other Fortune 500 company publishes such a report. The company also once again declined to respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project, which provides a system for companies to measure, disclose, and manage environmental information, which would serve as a first step in understanding and reducing Amazon’s carbon emissions.

In addition to their dismal environmental record, Amazon demonstrates a lack of commitment to social responsibility. The company actively fought against state efforts to collect sales taxes in 2012 (Amazon’s brick and mortar competitors all have to pay sales taxes, which puts them at a disadvantage). Amazon also has a poor record on workers’ pay and rights. The company actually pays its warehouse workers less than Walmart pays. And, workers allege they aren’t even paid for all of their time on the job. A class action lawsuit has been filed against an Amazon warehouse for failure to pay workers for time it takes at the end of each shift (about 25 minutes) to make sure these workers are not stealing products. The 25 minutes it takes to go through security should be compensated. Warehouse conditions are poor as well. Company warehouses were not equipped with electricity for air conditioning until 2011, leaving workers to toil in 90-degree weather during the summer months.

Fortunately, there are plenty of online holiday shopping options that bear a proud declaration of their commitment to people and the planet. Products ranging from books to toys to apparel made with environmentally friendly production methods, fair-trade partners, and clean energy can be shipped to your door, guilt-free. H

ave a look at our Amazon Alternatives Holiday Shopping Guide below to find a gift that your loved ones will cherish, and the planet will thank you for. Many of the businesses listed are certified members of our Green Business Network, so you know they are responsible companies.

Amazon Alternatives Holiday Shopping Guide


Product Range

Cool Green Fact

Powell’s Books, Audio Books, DVDs Operates a fleet of biodiesel-powered trucks, purchases wind power, and generates electricity from solar panels on their roof.
Better World Books Member of the Green Business Books, e-books, DVDs By circulating previously owned merchandise,has recycled over 216 million pounds of books and offset 44,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Viva Terra Member of the Green Business Eco home décor, accessories,artisan goods Offers a wide range of organic, all-natural, fair-trade, artisan-made, recycled, chemical-free products, all made in the USA.
Etsy Artisan-made crafts, jewelry, art Connects shoppers directly with sellers of artisan-made crafts, jewelry, and art. Robust environmental reporting program ensures the company minimizes their resource use and carbon footprint.
Ten Thousand VillagesMember of the Green Business Fair Trade arts and crafts, jewelry, music, food Handmade art, jewelry, and textiles are focused on providing equitable returns to artisans in developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Ebay Used goods galore — hundreds ofcategories Largest online engine for reuse on the planet; allows people to sell items they own and aren’t using, reducing demand for new manufactured goods and landfill space.
Terra Experience Member of the Green Business Fair Trade Mayan arts and crafts Supports environmental education in supplier countries, uses energy efficient technologies, post-consumer recycled paper, hybrid vehicles, and website hosted by 100% wind power.
Worldfinds Member of the Green Business Fair Trade gifts All products are handmade, often locally, and are shipped using recycled paper, packaging material, and boxes.
Indigenous Member of the Green Business Fair Trade/Eco Clothing Makes high-quality clothing honoring both the people and the planet from natural and organic fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, alpaca, and Tencel; committed to using environmentally-friendly dyes.
Maggie’s Organics Member of the Green Business Fair Trade, organic clothing All clothes are made with certified organic fibers, fair labor practices, using low-carbon production methods.
Equal Exchange Member of the Green Business Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate Imports organic coffee, tea, chocolates, candy bars, cocoa, sugar, nuts, cereal bars, bananas, and olive oil. Helps sustain 75 farmer co-ops in 30 countries.
Green Pages Online Everything green—home décor, clothing, jewelry and beyond. Thousands of great gift ideas! The over 3,000 businesses listed on have undergone a rigorous certification for social and environmental sustainability.
Member of the Green Business Network Designates a certified member of Green America’s Green Business Network®

Download Now - Alternatives to Amazon


  1. As far as I know, Amazon is the only place where I can buy Kindle books. There are other vendors on Amazon that sell new and used products. Not everything I buy using my Amazon account comes from Amazon. Except, of course, my Kindle books.

  2. so, at least one of these mega booksellers sells on amazon…I believe better world books sells there. will they stop selling on amazon?

  3. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging
    to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance.
    I must say you’ve done a fantastic job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Chrome.
    Outstanding Blog!

  4. For re-using, renewing, recycling and repurposing, I like Craigslist. I have used the free section to obtain materials needed for garden and home projects. I have even obtained a service that will drop wood chips in my driveway for free. There is also a great barter section as well.

  5. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness on your
    publish is just spectacular and that i can think you’re a
    professional in this subject. Fine along with your permission allow me to grab your
    RSS feed to keep updated with imminent post. Thank
    you a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  6. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a
    doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I am very happy I came across
    this during my search for something concerning this.

  7. cor of the patio should be in synchronization with the d.
    Money, objects, and gifts can be seen as replacements for that affection. He got into trouble
    as a teenager and became the prisoner of his own home – with his
    parents as the wardens, and later his brother – ever since.

  8. Using specials will take down your Pokemon’s PP (Power points), so you can’t keep using the same skills over and
    over again, just like in the handheld games. For instance,
    have you heard of Pink Sugar Shoe Boutique. This is
    not a reliable way since your imagination can sometimes be wrong.

  9. Some of loving characteristic of a dog are obedience,
    love, warmth, cleverness, coat color, hair, agility and so the dog supplies also vary on their
    physical characteristic. These kind of shoes keep the dog
    paws dry all the time at the exact same time reusable
    making it less complicated to use them more usually.
    Starting your own dog walking business could be a profitable
    venture for and here is some info you’ll want to consider as well as some
    info about pet supplies you might consider buying.

  10. My major purchase is CD’s. Amazon set a new low for the 2nd time this year on my last purchase which was never received.
    Any alternatives? Anyone?

  11. It’s truly very complex in this busy life to listen news on TV, therefore
    I only use web for that purpose, and take the most up-to-date news.

  12. However, the ‘new Europe’ of the emerging capitalist economies may be one of the better
    investment options in the near to medium term. These gatekeepers can come in many forms from soft introductions via
    people the investor may have some knowledge of and respects to the more covenanted
    hard introduction from someone the investor
    has worked with in the past and wants to work with again. Also additionally carry on the main oversight with
    three full-time owners.

  13. KP Occasions Group supplies your organization with
    the instruments to facilitate the integration of knowledge, video,
    and voice, leading to true media management and on-line communication services across a number of geographies and platforms.

  14. I had never earlier than used on-line purchasing but your website was prompt by my buddy and I ordered some stuffs for my parents who is hundreds km far from me and you with little question make my day and me let experince change into great
    utilizing on-line providers. We are able to create customized gift baskets as per your selection and send
    it anyplace you want in USA.

  15. However a brand new examine from the University of California, San Francisco experiences that hookah smoke contains a different – but
    still harmful – cocktail of chemical compounds that can result in well being issues.
    PIERRE ­ An attempt by Speedy City officers to have the Legislature
    make hookah lounges comply with the state’s smoking ban backfired Thursday.

  16. Search engine optimization is usually often referred to as Search engine optimization, google
    search positioning and show off engine promotion. While this doesn’t offer the same level as anonymity
    as Ixquick or Aafter, it does allow you to perform searches over an SSL connection (where your browser displays a
    URL beginning rather than. If you have a site centered around dogs then try to get a few inbound links
    from other dog related sites.

  17. By our distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio,
    Netflix and plenty of web sites. The TEDx initiative grants
    free licenses to people world wide to prepare TED-type occasions of their communities with TED Talks and reside speakers.
    Keeney saw the opportunity of bringing a TEDx event to the university and
    spent the next two years carrying out it.

  18. Candidates can do that in one of three ways: by taking a 75-hour Salesperson Prelicense Course
    by an authorised faculty; full not less than 10 quarter hours or six semesters in actual property from an accredited
    faculty; or present proof of not less than 75 hours of actual estate schooling authorised by the real property licensing or regulatory physique of another state or Canada.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s