When is it more eco friendly to shop online vs in the store?
Cutting our consumption has the biggest impact on our footprint, but there are a lot of smaller habits we have that also add up over time and this is one of them. It’s also a question I’ve received several times, so I think it’s only right that we put it to rest.
I reviewed several studies on the environmental impact of going to the store vs shopping online and summarized the results in a more in-depth post: Shopping vs Shipping. Here is a summary of that summary:
On average, ordering online has a smaller environmental impact then driving to the store. BUT, you have to consider a few factors:
- The efficiency of your transportation to and from the store – Is this a one item trip? Are you stopping by the store on your commute home from work? Are you riding your bike? You get the idea…
- What you’re buying – Sometimes shopping online can give you better options, like buying used instead of new.
- How much you’re buying – If you’re shopping bulk and only need to make one trip to the store each month, that’s likely better than ordering multiple things online.
Your Action Item
Get in the habit of planning a purchase. When you need to buy something, weigh your options: does it make sense to buy this online or stop by the store?
Be in the know:
Ready to full post to get all the facts are know when it’s right for you to shop online instead of heading to the store.