Living green is all about reducing your carbon footprint which is basically reducing the impact of your everyday actions which produce emissions that will interact negatively with the environment. Eco-conscientious individuals will seek out ways to reduce their carbon footprint thereby impacting the environment in a positive manner, including aiming for environmentally responsible online shopping.
One way to reduce those emissions is by selectively choosing how you order items online. We are witnessing a consumer evolution of sorts with our shopping tendencies as many of our brick and mortar shopping meccas are closing while the online shopping industry is booming because of its ease and convenience to the consumer.
While we may have developed methods to shop responsibly when shopping locally with regards to our environment, we now find ourselves seeking opportunities to make our online shopping experiences green. Here are five ways you can lessen your carbon footprint while enjoying the conveniences of online shopping.
1. Exhaust Emissions
Actually, this one is already in place if you are consistently ordering online. When you drive from store to store in your cars or via any other type of public transportation, the vehicles you are in are producing exhaust emissions that are proven to be bad for the environment. Add to that thought the many different stores you may visit in just one shopping outing and then think about how many other vehicles are actually on the road for the same purpose.
The amount of negative emissions produced is mind-blowing. But, with online shopping, those amounts of poisonous exhaust fumes being released are greatly diminished. All of those vehicles on the road are consolidated down to a much smaller fleet of ground or air vehicles that are carrying items in bulk. Just simply purchasing products online instead of driving to get them is helping to save the environment.
2. Order in Quantity
Whenever possible, plan your online shopping so that if you have several things to order you will be able to do it all at once. Some people will have a list much like a grocery list that they will add items to as they notice that they need them. Then, maybe once a week, they will order everything at once.
This method of ordering allows the online vendor to consolidate your deliveries which reduces the amount of delivery vehicles involved in getting your purchase from the supplier to your door thereby reducing your impact on the carbon footprint made by your purchase. Not only are you reducing the emissions being produced, but, you are also reducing the amount of fuel that is used.
3. Don’t Over-Order
Often, as a consumer shopping for clothing online, you may be uneasy with trusting the sizing guides supplied by the manufacturer and are tempted to order more that one size of an item just to make sure that you get one that fits correctly. Even though it may cost nothing to return the unused items, you are basically doubling your carbon footprint by doing so since the entire delivery procedure will need to be repeated.
It’s much more responsible to order the size that makes sense. Most of the time, it will be the right fit. If it doesn’t fit you can still return it, but, at least, this way, you won’t be planning on two deliveries for each order. If you’re having trouble deciding what to order, use a popular product reviews site like Honest Product Reviews to get an idea for the exact item you need. Unbiased reviews sites like this are a great way to increase your shopping efficiency.
4. Recycle Packing Material
All of those deliveries will arrive in boxes, bags, or envelopes and can easily be recycled. The inside packaging can also be recycled, as well. You can either recycle them with your other green items or reuse them for things that you may need to have delivered in the future. The boxes are usually fairly durable and can even be used for organizing projects in your home, if needed.
5. Authorize Drop-off Deliveries
One way that all of your efforts to stay green with online ordering can backfire is when you have to sign for your deliveries. When you order this way, if you aren’t at home when the package arrives, it cannot be delivered. The driver will leave you a tag telling you either where you can pick it up or offering you other delivery days or options.
At any rate, your carbon footprint could double or even triple if you select to sign for all of your deliveries. It’s best to have a safe place where your packages can be delivered so that it will only require one trip which, again, is reducing exhaust emissions emitted into the atmosphere and reducing the amount of fuel required for the delivery process.
Online shopping is the wave of the future. Its popularity has been increasing for years mainly because of the convenience of shopping from home. As technology is making it safer to use the internet, this method of securing required necessities will only grow larger. It’s up to us to continue to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and allow our environment a chance to heal itself from our past transgressions to provide a safe and healthy home for our next generation. Environmentally responsible online shopping is one step in the right direction.