Amazon customers can now tell Alexa to grow a tree

The launch of the new feature is part of the tech giant's ongoing sustainability efforts.

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Image: Amazon

Amazon has announced a new partnership with environmental charity One Tree Planted that will enable its US customers to plant one tree by requesting their Alexa-enabled device to donate $1 from their account. 

Customers can now say, "Alex, grow a tree" to make the donation that will go towards the charity's reforestation efforts. Customers can also keep track and view how many trees they help to plant through their Amazon Pay account.

Additionally, Amazon said it will donate $1 million to One Tree Planted, which is expected to help the non-profit plant one million trees from April to December. These trees will be planted as part of reforestation projects in Pennsylvania's defunct mining region, land that was affected by the 2018 forest fires in California, and along the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest.

Fruit trees will also be planted in marginalised communities across the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Odisha, and West Bengal in India.

Amazon has also taken the opportunity to highlight it remains committed to its Climate Pledge, pointing out that it is on track to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the initial 2030 target. The company attributed its efforts so far to its ongoing investments in wind and solar farm capacity.

At the same time, the company boasted it has used machine learning algorithms to improve packaging options for deliveries, resulting in reducing the weight of outbound packaging per shipment by 36% and eliminating over one million tons of packaging material since 2015.

Last month, the company also announced Amazon Fresh, its newest Seattle store that was pursuing Zero Carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute, while all Amazon buildings across its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, are expected to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Amazon added it is also committed to using electric delivery vehicles and has already ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles with Rivian to ensure all those vehicles are on the road by 2030. Plus, the company has put over 15 different models of electric vehicles on the road to learn and test across the US, the European Union, and India.

These efforts are in addition to Amazon's $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund that it set up nearly two years ago to invest in technologies with the aim of helping other companies reduce their carbon footprint. According to the company, it has invested in 13 companies so far.  

The tech giant, however, has been slammed in the past by an activist group comprised of Amazon employees for its connections to the oil and gas industries. Employees have also previously petitioned for Amazon's board to implement better climate plans.

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