Why urbanists, preservationists and parents should shop local instead of online this season
There are a few things that are really important to urbanists, to architectural preservationists and yes, to parents: They want vibrant, walkable downtowns, they want buildings occupied with thriving businesses and they worry about whether their kids will have jobs. Then they all order their presents from Amazon.
In past years TreeHugger has promoted the idea of local shopping vs the big boxes, but even they have to hire local people to mind the store. With Amazon, they don't even do that; according to Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for local self-reliance,
The online giant is technologically efficient, yes, but it also excels at squeezing a back-breaking amount of labor out of its employees. Amazon's workplace abuses, including alleged life-threatening temperatures inside some warehouses, injury-inducing workloads, and neo-Nazi guards, have been well-documented by investigative journalists.
But don't worry, Amazon's plan is to replace them all with robots. Meanwhile the Advocates for Independent Business has produced an infographic that demonstrates the impact that shopping local has on our communities, and how many jobs it actually creates. A lot of young entrepreneurs are opening up shops these days; they claim that even " the number of independent bookstores has increased more that 20% over the past five years, according to membership numbers from the American Booksellers Association."
So this season, support your local shops and put your money back into your community and into your friends' and your friends' kids pockets. Here is the full infographic: