Eco-friendly Online Shopping Alternatives For Amazon
Looking to shop in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way?! Here’s a resource list of amazing marketplace alternatives for Amazon and some other tips for eco-friendly online shopping.
Online shopping is booming right now as you likely well know, and lots of that shopping happens on Amazon. While Amazon offers everything under the sun nearly, there are some potential issues regarding sustainable and eco-friendly shopping.
It’s been noted that with Amazon there’s an ethical and environmental cost for two-day shipping. Amazon’s working conditions need improvement, they’re packaging can be wasteful, and they definitely don’t have carbon neutral shipping.
Other eco-friendly marketplaces value supporting small businesses, independent makers and creators, and have more sustainable business practices.
So I’m not here to shame you about where you shop, but trying to provide you with opportunities to choose more eco-conscious choices and alternatives for Amazon that support the people and planet more.
Eco-friendly Online Shopping Alternatives For Amazon
Let’s get eco-friendly online shopping alternatives for Amazon!
Shop “Climate Pledge Friendly” As An Alternative For Amazon
Firstly, before we jump into alternatives for Amazon, let’s discuss how you can still buy from Amazon, but in a better way.
In 2020, Amazon added the Climate Pledge Friendly label to products that qualify at least in one aspect of the sustainability certifications they recognize (see more here). Each year thousands of new qualified products are added. It’s a way to indicate to you, the consumer, that this product is a slightly more (or a lot depending on the product!) eco-friendly option than another product. So try searching for a climate pledge friendly option first (use the filters to select it!) if you’re going to shop on Amazon.
Use Your Voice
Amazon has continued to make changes over time. Obviously, they can continue to do better and be a more ethical, eco-friendly company. It’s a consumer platform, so they listen to the consumers. Use your voice to buy more eco-friendly products from them.
Go beyond that and message them with your thoughts on how and why you want them to improve their sustainability efforts. When you get something shipped with excessive packaging or unrecyclable plastic, then message them a complaint. Things like this get noted and tracked. It may feel like “oh, someone else will do that and it’s fine”, but the more feedback the better, and they may be willing to make some changes.
Don’t You Use Amazon?
Yes, yes we do. We are perfectly imperfect environmentalists on our sustainable living journey. Sometimes, Amazon has the product we want with fast, free shipping, so we use Amazon’s services.
There will likely always be Amazon links on this site because I want sustainable living to be accessible to all. Some businesses need the fast free shipping to keep their clients or employees happy. Some parents need those bamboo diapers delivered next day. Amazon has pretty much everything, so it’s convenient and necessary for some.
Additionally, if there’s a die-hard Amazon shopper, I want to provide them with better eco-conscious products/choices. Excluding people because they want to shop on Amazon won’t move the needle. Providing better alternatives for Amazon AND better alternatives on Amazon is the way to make the biggest impact.
Now with all that out of the way, let’s talk specifically about eco-friendly online shopping alternatives for Amazon.
Shop Secondhand Stores or FB Marketplace
Secondhand shopping is a great alternative for Amazon as many items you want to purchase are just as good secondhand. Obviously, there’s limit to what you might be willing to buy secondhand and what’s available in a good condition.
So check out online thrift stores or Facebook Marketplace that have a vast array of items available. FB Marketplace can be a great place to hunt down furniture or items that with a little DIY love can become amazing!
Shop Certified B Corporations
A quick internet search of an item followed by the word certified B corporation can find you brands you can trust ( “item certified B corp). Certified B corporations are must meet and hold verified high standards for social and environmental performance, transparency to the public, and legal accountability of balancing profit and purpose.
I have truly found that sustainability equals transparency. If a business will tell you everything they do and are trying to do for the environment from how they run the business to how their employees are taken care of, then it’s definitely a business I want to support.
Buy From a Brand Directly
Amazon obviously is a platform selling other people’s products. That typically means the brand’s products can be found online and are likely sold online on that brand’s website. So a great alternative for Amazon is to actually buy directly from the brand! Take out the middle man per se.
A great example of this is Earth Breeze detergent sheets. They are available and sold on Amazon. At first it might look like a cheaper price on Amazon. However, if you buy directly from Earth Breeze and sign up for the subscription, then it’s cheaper the first purchase and every time following (Don’t fret on the subscription, you can cancel any time…literally after your first shipment!). It also guarantees you get it in recyclable packaging and with carbon neutral shipping (unlike Amazon).
Make sure to check out our full review on Earth Breeze and why we love them!
Resource List of Alternatives For Amazon
Below is a list of great alternatives for Amazon ranging from marketplaces with everything like Amazon to more category specific stores for clothing or entertainment.
Eco-friendly Online Marketplace Alternatives
EarthHero is a one-stop eco-friendly online marketplace super similar to Amazon. However, they do all the work for you when it comes to sustainable products. EarthHero vets all their products to ensure the products are sourced, manufactured, and shipped in a way that protects the Earth’s future. Read more about how they choose products and their story here.
I can literally get dish soap for my kitchen and buy an eco-friendly toy all in one place.They have sales and discount codes all the time, which helps you save some money too. Use BIGLIV10 for 10% off an order at anytime.
EarthHero is right when they say “choices make changes”!
Etsy is a great place to find a variety of beautiful things and shop small! It’s an online marketplace who celebrates makers and creatives. You can buy handmade gifts, plates, toys, furniture, clothes or even digital downloads for invitations, homeschooling, and more!
A really cool part about Etsy is it’s 100% powered by renewable electricity, they offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping and packaging, and have a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2030. It’s truly a major and amazing commitment to the planet. Moreover, it helps small businesses participate in lessening their impact on the planet. Many small businesses can’t afford to offset their shipping emissions, but Etsy automatically does it for every business on there.
Big Living Little Footprint even has an Etsy shop where we sell our DIY plans as downloadable pdfs!
Zero Waste Store
The Zero Waste Store has a ton of household products and personal care products for everyone. From baby clothes to shampoo bars to clean beauty products to laundry detergent, it’s all there. They are part of 1% for the Planet giving back with every order. Additionally, they have climate neutral shipping and plastic-free packaging.
Grove Collaborative is a certified B corp with natural household and care products. They already plastic neutral and have a ton of plastic-free products, but their goal is by 2025 to be 100% plastic-free. We love using their cleaning concentrates and glass bottles. They have Tree-free bamboo tissues and paper towels, and you can even find some of their cleaning products at your local Target!
Entertainment Alternatives For Amazon
BackMarket is an online marketplace for used electronics where you can find almost any brand or type of electronics you desire (MAC versus Windows, no problem). Their products have a 30 day money back guarantee and a one year warranty. Find laptops, tablets, headphones and more in this marketplace.
By purchasing a used or refurbished electronic, it helps to reduce electronic waste by extending the life of the product. It’s like secondhand clothes or thrifting, but way better for your budget.
The laptop I use for work is a refurbished laptop that works great and for significantly less cost!
Bookshop is an online marketplace specifically for buying books. A ton of the books that you might be considering getting off Amazon are right there. However, if you purchase through Bookshop instead, then 10% of each sale is donated to an independent bookstore. Why not give back and help independent bookstores thrive in the age of ecommerce.
They’re also a certified B corporation and climate neutral certified with over $21 million raised for local bookstores since the company launched in early 2020.
Clothing Alternatives For Amazon
Pact makes clothing that’s organic, Fair Trade certified and uses 81% less water during production. I mean, their mission is to “build Earth’s Favorite Clothing Company”! If you’re looking for new clothes for anyone, it’s great as they have baby, kids, men and women clothing. So no one is left out, and you can get everything for the whole family from one place.
Thredup is definitely one of the largest online thrift and consignment stores. You can find anything from regular day clothes to party dresses to hiking boots. The only downside is it caters to women and kids with no men’s category. However, it’s very broad and inclusive with plus and maternity categories too.
Thredup believes that thrifting can help with the Fashion Waste Crisis by extending the life of clothes, thus fighting fast fashion, reducing the need for all the water waste caused by clothing production, and to stop perfectly good clothing from being discarded into landfills. Check out more about their impact here.
Thredup can also have some ridiculously good sales (almost every month!) that will save you even more when shopping secondhand!
If you’re going to buy new clothing, then Tentree is a great resource for everyone. The clothing is made from sustainably sourced and recycled materials, and each product tells you exactly what material was used. Additionally, Tentree take an Earth-First approach by planting 10 trees with every purchase, and ensures all their products are made in ethical conditions.
Also if you’re looking for a way to offset your carbon emissions, Tentree has SO many varieties of packages or subscription plans you can purchase through their Climate+ program. Also, their “baby tree” image for the offset pictures looks like Baby Groot from the Marvel Universe, which totally hooks this nerdy family!
Alternatives To Shopping Entirely
We’re definitely a family who budgets and tries to not buy unnecessary things. So if we can find something for free or borrow it, then that’s what we do alternatively to going shopping! Here’s a couple additional ideas for if you’re looking to skip the whole shopping step of looking for alternatives for Amazon.
Check Out Buy Nothing Online Groups
Beyond FB Marketplace, there are Facebook communities called Buy Nothing Groups. They are local groups that you can join where users offer up things they no longer need for free. You can request an item you’re needing to see if anyone in the group has one to give away. Or you can put an item up yourself instead of tossing it into the recycling or trash.
Some local Buy Nothing Groups are more active than others, so it depends on the community. If there isn’t one in your area, then it’s easy to start one too. Help yourself and others!
Just do a quick search on Facebook to find your nearest group. It’s truly a great community full of neighbors giving away items to reduce waste and it saves money!
Borrow From Family, Friend, or Neighbor
I can’t stress enough how easy and free it is to ask someone if you can borrow something from them. Maybe you need a chainsaw to remove some brush or tree limbs. Ask around, and I bet someone you know will have one you can borrow instead of buying one. We’re definitely the family member who has a lot of tools that our friends and family borrow from!
This can even go beyond borrowing. Friends who have grown kids, but still have baby clothes will typically happily part from them if asked or even just offer them to you! You might offer them a consumable gift like wine or baked goods in return as a thank you.
So next time, ask around first if you need something rather than instinctively hopping online to buy it.
Shop Your Home
Ever buy something, and then within a few days or the same day, find an item in your house that would have worked instead? Definitely been a victim of that scenario! With any size home or apartment, we always seem to have a lot of stuff. Even if you’re organized you forget about items.
So next time you think you need to buy something, I highly recommend doing a sweep of your house first. You’ll be amazed what you forgot in the basement or realized you had in a storage bin and that it might fit the need perfectly.
I hope this resource list of alternatives for Amazon helps you find some more eco-friendly options for shopping. Or even try not “buying” at all by using other avenues of borrowing and gifting! It’s all a balance and about making progress over being perfect. So don’t lay on any guilt and just strive to make better eco-conscious purchases in the future. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.
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