Big businesses all over the world are considering the possibility of doing away with their physical brick and mortar operations and instead transitioning to an ecommerce business model. One such reason for this shift is the eco-friendly nature of operating a business online.
Welcome to Green-Commerce
From ecommerce to green-commerce, what’s leading this growth in sustainable business practices? Here are three of the primary factors in play:
- Fuel Savings
In the past, if a customer wanted to purchase three very different products, they’d have to get in their vehicle and drive to three different stores – likely using a considerable amount of fuel along the way. With ecommerce, this is no longer necessary. Customers can purchase all three products online without ever leaving the house. Furthermore, with big box etailers like Amazon and Walmart, it’s often possible to purchase multiple different products from the same website.
- Paperless Communication
Another tremendous environmental benefit of online shopping is the uptick in paperless communication. “Online shoppers can receive confirmations, receipts, offers, newsletters, and bills through their e-mail, which means not only less tree cutting, but a reduction in the fuels necessary for transporting all those paper bills as well,” environmental advocate Maddie Marshall says. “So while your mailman might be sad about the advent of online billing, the environment is reaping the benefits.”
(In full disclosure, it should be noted that many brick and mortar stores have also started to do their part in improving paperless communication by offering emailed receipts instead of printed receipts.)
- Minimized Infrastructure
One of the biggest green-friendly features of the ecommerce business model is the minimized infrastructure. Brick and mortar stores produce a lot of waste and leave behind a rather significant footprint. Stores require land, structures, utilities, parking lots, display shelves, and much more. Online ecommerce stores simply need a website and a warehouse to store and ship inventory.
When you look at an ecommerce website, it’s exponentially easier and more efficient to operate. As opposed to needing the physical security measures that come with having a brick and mortar store, all you need is an SSL certificate and some smart practices. Instead of needing costly signage and window advertisements that last for a season, all you need are some web design skills.
Things Ecommerce Businesses Could Do Better
Ecommerce is not a perfect solution to the problem of unsustainable business practices. There are at least two aspects that can and should be improved over time:
- Same-Day Shipping
We all love being able to purchase and hold an item within the same day, but this isn’t a convenience that should become a habit in ecommerce. If you want to touch the product the same day you buy it, brick and mortar shopping should be the preferred channel.
“In analyzing shopping data that represents actual customer behaviors for mall and online shopping, Simon [Property Group] has shown that mall shopping represents a better sustainability performance over online shopping,” one report explains. “Furthermore, in an age when consumers are increasingly demanding same-day or fast delivery, which requires more resources such as fuel to fulfill, the negative impact of online shopping is likely to worsen even more.”
- Better Packing
How many times have you ordered something online and it comes in a box that’s 10-times the size of the product? Oversized boxes clog up supply chains, reduce efficiencies, and aren’t good for the environment. Ecommerce could do better at reducing the use of these oversized boxes.
What’s in Store for the Future of Business?
What does the future of business and shopping hold? Only time will tell, but it appears that ecommerce is taking charge on the sustainability front – which bodes will for the industry.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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