There is a lot of debate on whether or not online shopping is more eco-friendly than going out and buying your stuff at physical locations. However, there are surefire ways you can make your shopping habits better for the environment.
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– Ask for sustainable packaging
A lot of waste is produced by packaging materials that are just discarded right away. The best way to combat that is to find ways to reuse or recycle them, but with the materials used by many manufacturers, they aren’t that viable for recycling. Thankfully, a lot of sellers are more conscious about this and try to stick to eco-friendly packaging. You can also take the extra step by ensuring that the shipping provider you pick in line with the store uses sustainable materials.
A lot of these are actually better for shipments, like cardboard pallet pads. These protect products from dirt, grime, and moisture. When used for packaging, it also provides a layer to prevent damage. Using this option, items can be shipped in layers with a material that is made from recycled parts.
This is one of the many packaging solutions that you can opt for, as a lot of sellers are realizing the many benefits of such resources. They even end up being more cost-efficient for both sides.
– Love the pile
Ordering multiple items at once instead of getting numerous small orders is better. Getting a pile of orders together means they can be shipped together. Consolidation allows for less separate shipments that have to go out, resulting in less need for packaging materials and fewer emissions produced.
Inevitably, carbon emissions are produced by planes, ships, and vehicles that transport your goods to you. However, having consolidated orders means fewer trips. By cutting down on those, you are also saving on the energy that needs to be maintained. Warehouses that keep things in bulk use up less energy than storefronts and singular spaces.
Those warehouses are more efficiently used as well when people don’t opt for immediate delivery. Of course, it may require more patience on your part since waiting to accumulate your orders and then avoiding the express shipping options will take a bit longer. However, this works out better in the end as it can give you more time to consider your expenses while being friendlier to the planet.
– Avoid cancellations and returns
Besides the unfortunate situations of broken or incorrect items, try to avoid returning goods or canceling your orders. A lot of waste is built up from discarded goods and more emissions are produced from packaging, shipping, and then having to double back on all those operations.
This rings especially true when you decide to cancel a shipment that is already in transit. This puts a lot of energy usage to waste and the return trip adds even more. As much as possible, trips with singular routes create a smaller carbon footprint than those that have to disrupt established trajectories.
Aside from these methods, you can also start patronizing brands that use sustainable materials and practices. A lot of brands mention it on their page, but you can also ask them with a quick message to find out if they are doing their part. This way, you can sit back and enjoy the convenience of online shopping guilt-free.