Shopping online is becoming more popular thanks to the convenience it brings, plus the great bargains you’ll only find in the web. With online stores using retail POS software, paying for your online purchases is a breeze. A few clicks of your mouse, enter the needed info, and you can just go about your business again in minutes as you wait for whatever it is you bought to arrive on your doorstep.
Online shopping is also being adopted by the environmental conscious as it is touted by many as a greener solution compared to shopping at the mall, however, much as I love the convenience that online shopping gives this is not always necessarily true. If you think about it, the products you buy online will after all have to be packed and delivered to your home. This packaging obviously adds to the product’s carbon footprint, and the gas that you would have saved during your trip to the mall offset by that of the fuel used by the delivery truck. This means that if one of the main reasons why you shop online is to help save the environment, then you’d better go about it the smart way. Here are some tips to make sure that you end up reducing your carbon footprint as you shop online.
- Buy in bulk – Did you know that you need to buy at least 25 items from the same online store for there to be a positive effect on the environment; a fact a reported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology transport policy panel back in 2010. So if you need only an item or two, it’s much better to just put it off until you have 25 items on your online shopping cart. However, note that if you just walk or bike to the corner store to buy these items most of the time, that will always beat online shopping anytime.
- Buy used stuff – One of the best things about online shopping is that it makes it easier to find used stuff that are still in good condition. Reusing stuff is one of the best things for the environment. So the next time you shop online, opt for pre-owned items instead of new ones.
- Choose an earth-friendly courier – Never heard of one? Well there ARE environmental friendly couriers although their methods for lessening their carbon footprint differ. Some offer bike courier services for short distance deliveries, some reuse packaging materials and reconditioned equipment, most focus on efficient operations and routes, and some use Biodiesel or LPG gas for their delivery trucks. Find out if an online store has a tie up with such couriers and (even if they might cost extra) buy from these stores more often.
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