Amazon Prime Day, the unofficial American celebration of endless consumption, has come and gone. Maybe you got a killer deal on a new TV or a new toaster, but when you opened the box, it didn’t turn out to be the product you were hoping for. So you decided to send it back.
What happens after that? A shocking new report found that a single Amazon facility throws away millions of unused products each year, meaning your unused stuff could be headed for the landfill.
New hobby, new stuff
My new year’s resolution was to learn to cook. Over the past six-plus months, I upgraded from frozen quinoa burgers to serious meals: braised carnitas tacos with homemade slaw, grilled swordfish with cherry tomato confit (that’s pronounced con-fee for my fellow cooking neophytes), even a frozen cherry granita with lime-infused, hand-whipped cream.
In addition to the new dishes and tastes, I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of stuff. To unlock your food’s flavor, it seems, you need a Le Creuset Dutch oven and a Vitamix blender. Do you have a good kitchen knife? What about the right containers to store your leftovers? The pile of must-haves amassed into a mountain in my mind.
So imagine my excitement when I found out my brother and his girlfriend, in the process of moving into a new home and combining their wares, planned to toss a bunch of extra kitchen gadgets. “Don’t do it!” I exclaimed, “I’ll give that stuff a new home.”
Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair, PIRG
Kevin helps run U.S. PIRG's Right to Repair campaign. He got his start as a Green Corps organizer, where he worked with Mighty Earth to call on Bridgestone to stop deforestation and human exploitation for natural rubber. He also led an effort to get a majority of both houses of the Massachusetts state Legislature to co-sponsor the 100% Renewable Energy Act. Kevin lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he enjoys reading, running and rooting for his Oakland A's from afar.