Confession: One of the things I have shifted toward a lot in the last two years is buying online. My husband makes so many purchases for his business that it’s decidedly worth it for us to pay for Amazon Prime – which includes free two-day shipping on countless items.
I have many friends who shop this way too.
Our family recently had a complex argument about whether it was more fuel-and-energy efficient to buy online or in stores. (This was after I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Kingsolver, and was thinking more about the energy costs associated with getting things to my house.) Our argument went something like this:
- You save gas if you stay home.
- But someone has to deliver the items to your house. Same diff, right?
- But if he didn’t deliver them to your house, he would deliver them to the stores, right? And then you would go get them – twice the gas.
- But he is bringing them to you in small sets, as often as once a day, not with boxes and boxes at a time like an efficient shopping run (you) or a big store delivery (them).
- But he is making his round of deliveries around town anyway, and you are on the way.
- But seriously – stopping at every house to make individual deliveries?
Okay, I’m convinced. I think it is less energy efficient to have everyone stay home while several trucks run around town delivering things. No wait. That sounds like a GOOD plan. Gaaahhhhh! Meanwhile my husband and my oldest son, who are both smarter than I, are convinced that the difference is either negligible or in favor of home delivery. I hate when they do that.
What do you think?
Alternately, we could do both – run around town making errands and sit at home shopping online.
Yeah, that would work. Efficiency shmiciency.
Okay, I am sorry to disappoint you but that is not the point of this post. That whole discussion was a bunny trail from my real point, which was this:
What I’m about to say may be old hat to you, but I must be sure. Did you know that when you make purchases on Amazon.com, you can make them via Amazon Smile, which donates money to a nonprofit of your choice? The nonprofit must be registered with Amazon Smile, but you can then choose it from a list of charities, schools, and other organizations. My choice is Faith Builders Educational Programs, which runs the Christian day school my children attend. That means every time I make a purchase, a small percentage of my total is earmarked as a donation and given to them. It’s not a lot, about half a percent, but it adds up when many people do it.
The nice thing is that it’s not a different store, or a different way of shopping. It’s just a different way of accessing the Amazon site. I have Amazon Smile pinned to the taskbar of my computer, so each time I open Amazon I’m already set to go, and all my purchases count. I don’t have to do anything extra.
And no, I do not make ADDITIONAL purchases just to donate. I’m not that stupid, er, devoted, or whatever you want to call it.
In a nutshell, if you’re an Amazon shopper, please check into it. There are many good places registered there, such as Fair Play Camp School, Bald Eagle Boys Camp, Christian Aid Ministries, Amish Mennonite Aid, Samaritan’s Purse, Open Hands, crisis pregnancy centers, and many more. If you don’t already have a non-profit of choice, you are cordially invited to pick Faith Builders as well. We would not mind.
PS – Unfortunately, no one is paying me for this pitch.