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Did you know shopping online can have a lower carbon footprint than in-store shopping? The tech innovations we enjoy today including smartphones and state of the art logistic services all facilitate a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience from the comfort of your couch. But what does this mean for our environment and our own personal carbon foot print? Think about it, one van with 100 packages ordered online should be more efficient than 100 people driving to the store.

A recent study by MIT concluded that eCommerce is a more sustainable option compared to brick-and-mortar shopping due to aggregate consumer behaviors that are important indicators of environmental impact. Below is an illustration of these factors.

    Transportation is the biggest source of in-store shopping-related emissions and produces about 2.5 times the carbon emissions of e-commerce packaging. In the case of a direct home delivery, one full standard van replaces more than 100 individual car trips to the store. In turn, order consolidation and network optimization saves the emissions for e-commerce operators.

    What Makes our Shipping Different?

    When I started The Eco Warrior I took a deep dive into each aspect of an online store and re-defined how every process could be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. The Eco Warrior has lead the way with sustainable shipping processes with our circular economy packaging options and behind the scenes logistics to minimize and offset carbon emissions .

    With packaging, it’s all about reusing what has already been created that we can get our hands on. Instead of new boxes and new filling which takes up precious resources to create, we reuse old newspaper for stuffing and collect packing boxes from other businesses in the area that were set for landfill and then paper tape to seal the parcel and paper label. This means all your packaging from us is ready to be composted or cardboard recycled after use. We have also thought carefully about our logistics options, and our shipping routes use ground shipping wherever possible to avoid unnecessary carbon emissions from air travel logistics. Our refined logistics processes ensures that every delivery you place with The Eco Warrior creates the lowest carbon footprint possible! 

    Let’s dig further into consumer purchase practices: A study from MIT’s transportation and logistics center deduced that the carbon footprint of an in-store shopper is much higher than that of a customer who buys the same thing online (and much less for the patient shopper, ie not express delivery).

      Source: 2013 MIT study

      How Can You Make an Impact to Reduce Your Shopping Carbon Emissions Online? 

      Avoiding Express Delivery 

      Express delivery can be unsustainable. When shipping is done right, it is better for the environment. However, these benefits can be eroded if you get a rush delivery. Every purchase means putting a vehicle enroute. This is why we do not offer express delivery options 😊 

      Nobody’s Home  

      Most delivery carriers make second delivery attempts if the customer is not home the first time, consequently doubling the delivery carbon emissions. Therefore, if you will not be able to receive the parcel, specify a preferred neighbour or opt to leave in a safe place. Keeping track of the parcel always eliminates this bottleneck.  

      Have Larger, Less Frequent Orders  

      Try and keep items in your basket until you have a range of items needed or consolidate your order with friends. This will consolidate the number of shipments into a single order so that packaging is reduced and so that delivery vans can make fewer trips.  

      Buying in Bulk  

      Buying in bulk will significantly decrease the travel logistics and packaging associated. This is also a great one to organize with family and friends. Bonus, you might even receive a discount and save money too!  

      Use What You Already Have  

      Only buy what you really need or use what you already have. The purchase that doesn’t happen will not contribute to your carbon footprint at all!  

      Concluding thoughts  

      The bottom line? Done right, online shopping can actually be greener than in-store shopping. If we bundle our orders and avoid the instant delivery options, we boost our eco-friendly quotient.   

      Our shipping blends the best of both worlds—sustainability and convenience.  

      What’s not to love?! Particularly when you have what you need right at your fingertips, literally.  

      Bibliography 

      https://www.shipbob.com/blog/eco-friendly-shipping/. 

      https://ctl.mit.edu/pub/thesis/environmental-analysis-us-online-shopping. 

      https://parcellab.com/e-commerce/sustainability-online-retail/. 

      https://www.vox.com/2017/11/17/16670080/environmental-cost-free-two-day-shipping. 

      https://www.pembina.org/op-ed/buyers-remorse-how-rush-online-shopping-hurts-planet 

      http://www.citylogistics.info/research/mit-e-commerce-leads-to-less-emissions/ 

       

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