Sustainable Alternatives to Amazon

Person holding shopping bags

With local governments issuing stay-at-home orders and the closure of non-essential businesses, the response, while appropriate and much needed, is hitting small businesses and workers across the country.

One thing hasn’t changed: we all still need essential goods, such as home cleaning products, personal care products, food, and something to pass the time with. In response, Green America provides you with a new and expanded version of our previous article "12 Greener Options than Amazon!" 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, retail giant Amazon is thriving. Stock prices are high, and while more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs and many more are worried about how they will weather this storm, Jeff Bezos is making money hand over fist – more then $24 BILLION since this health crisis began.

Even though Amazon is raking in profits, it is still putting workers at risk. Amazon failed to provide proper protective gear; more than 70 facilities have had at least one COVID-19 case. Workers are still facing tremendous pressure to meet high production quotas. As of May 1st, Amazon ended its unlimited unpaid time off policy, forcing many people to choose between their safety or their job.

Putting profits over public health has consequences: On May 5th, the first known Amazon warehouse worker died from COVID-19.

Last month, the Wallstreet Journal published a report showing that Amazon is using third party sellers’ data to launch competing products. Even prior to COVID-19, Amazon was actively undercutting small businesses!

Workers and small businesses need all the support they can get during this time. So before making your next purchase from Amazon, consider trying one of the small business options below!

Green Business Certification Logo

All businesses listed are certified Green Businesses, so you can rest easy know you are part of the solution.

Home cleaning products:

  • Molly Suds: earth- and plant-derived laundry, home and pet products that are truly safe for people and the planet.
  • Biokleen: 30+ effective, natural and biodegradable home cleaning products reduce your footprint both in- and outside your home.
  • Tangie: environmentally friendly laundry detergent (no pollutants and no constant disposing of plastic containers), Stain Remover Bar Shave Cream Soap Bar, Hand Soap Paste, Shampoo Bars, Conditioner Bars and other waste-free solutions.
  • See more green cleaning options here.

Personal care products:

Food:

  • KOL Foods: Glatt kosher 100% grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, and duck. Wild Alaskan salmon.
  • Frontier Co-op: a full line of culinary herbs, spices, teas, health foods, baking flavors under Frontier Co-op and Simply Organic brands. Personal care and aromatherapy products are also available in the Aura Cacia brand.
  • Amafruits: superfruits from the Amazon in purees, freshly frozen smoothie packs and sorbets
  • Thrive Market: Looking for gluten-free snacks, hypoallergenic cleaning products or organic baby food, there's something for every dietary need and lifestyle online at Thrive Market.
  • Higher Grounds Coffee: 100% Fair Trade and organic. Specializes in small-batch roasting of sustainably grown coffees from all over the world.
  • Grounds for Change: Roasting exclusively Fair Trade, organic, shade-grown coffee for wholesale, retail, and fundraising. Also offering a wide selection of coffee gifts and a coffee-of-the-month club.
  • Equal Exchange: Since 1986 Equal Exchange has been America's pioneer brand for Fair Trade organic coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. Today we are a full-service wholesaler to grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, and other food service customers nationwide. Unlike most brands we are also an importer and work directly with over 40 co-operatives of small-scale coffee, tea, cocoa, and sugar farmers in 20 countries around the world. 

Recreation:

  • Carolina Morning: Meditation Products, Yoga Props, Bedding, and Body Friendly Furniture
  • GAIAM: Attractive organic cotton apparel line includes clothing for yoga, Pilates, and all mind-body fitness forms.
  • Pocket Disc: Pocket Disc sells a line of fun, soft, safe packable toys - mostly that fly - to get kids and grownups moving and having a blast, wherever they are

Toys and Crafts:

  • Natural Earth Paint: using natural earth pigments and organic ingredients to create non-toxic art supplies, paints, face paints and craft kits for children and fine artists.
  • Naturally Playful: Toys, games, gifts, school supplies, body care products, and reusables that are made in the US or Fair Trade, and are considerate of our world.
  • Flowtoys: Creators of the first rechargeable LED glowstick, innovators of the levitation wand dance, and producers of the world’s favorite glow poi, batons, juggling clubs, and LED martial arts props,
  • Global Good Partners: Handmade, Fair Trade, and eco-friendly gifts, jewelry, housewares, toys, and accessories.
  • Terra Experience: Beautiful handwoven textiles, art, accessories, gifts, jewelry, 18 doll clothes, from Guatemala and Latin America. Strives to support Fair Trade, Mayan artisans, their communities and environment.

Books and Entertainment:

  • Biblio: Find over 65 million books from 6000 independent bookstores worldwide. Save by buying direct from independents (and feel good about it)!"
  • New Society Publishers:  Books about greening your life and the world
  • Yes! Magazine: Stories and solutions for a sustainable world
  • Ten Thousand Villages:  Buy a musical instrument for you or your kids