4 Ways Online Shopping Can be More Sustainable

I have been wondering about the cardboard cat scratcher I got from Amazon since plastic contributes to the destruction of our planet. However, Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a sustainable-logistic expert from the Netherlands explained that plastic packaging is not a significant contributor to environmental problems. Besides, we can recycle these to be useful again. 


According to him, the major problem was actually caused by carbon emissions. These come from delivery trucks and private cars used for online or in-store shopping. 


Fortunately, we can help lessen emissions by changing our shopping behavior. Interested? Read on to know how.


Related Article: Shop Early for Upcoming Festival Season and Follow Health Guidelines

Go Online Shopping

Online Shopping


We should consider buying from online shops instead of in-stores. Also, we can choose to order many items at once. Some retailers can put your orders in a single box or ship them together.


These steps can help cut carbon dioxide emissions. It’s because a single delivery truck gives off less carbon whereas many private cars on their way to shops emit more.

Choose Eco-Friendly Solutions

Opting for an eco-friendly e-commerce alternative is another step we can take. Miguel Jaller, co-director of UC Davis Sustainable Freight Research Center, explained this further. According to him, what makes e-commerce evil is how consumers use it. Such as what people buy and how they want to receive their orders. Thus, buyers should go for environment-friendly choices for their preferences.


Also, he created a model showing the efficiency between online and in-store shopping. He considered miles traveled and carbon emissions from private cars and delivery fleets. What he found was that shopping online is 87% more efficient. It means that this option results in less transport and personal vehicles on the roads. Thus, less carbon dioxide in the air.


Plus, we can maintain this efficiency by not opting for a quick, one-day delivery solution. It’s because transport vehicles will stay on the road more to meet short delivery deadlines. 


Online Shopping

Think of eCommerce as Replacement

We should see e-commerce services as a replacement shopping option. This means that once we opt to shop online, we should stick to it.


To put this in perspective, imagine buying half of your groceries online. Then, you get the other half in-store. Both transactions use vehicles, and combining these doubles your carbon emission. 


If we go online shopping, we are using only one method of buying what we need. Check out these items for this year's holiday season that may be purchased through online shopping with us:

Our Top Recommendations

Trampoline with Safety Net and Ladder - 8 Feet

A trampoline with safety net and ladder will help promote a child's physical health, this product will surely get them jumping for joy while also getting them active in the holiday season.

Traditional Outdoor Wooden Playhouse with Mailbox

With a traditional outdoor wooden playhouse, kids can build up their roleplaying and social skills. They can also enjoy the outdoors even if it snows. Don't worry they'll be safe inside it.

Inflatable Playtime 4-In-1 Bounce House

This 4-in-1 bounce house will provide kids endless hours of enjoyment, it can even be used both indoors and outdoors so fun will never end! Not to mention, it will help develop their motor skills.

What E-tailers Can Do

Online Shopping


Companies think that customers want to receive orders as fast as possible. But, customers actually prefer slower shipping means if these can help the environment. Dir. Josué Martínez and his team at MIT created the Green Button Project. It aims to find out the buyer's shipping preference involving environmental effects. 


Their respondents can choose slow shipping to reduce carbon emissions or save trees. They can also decide faster shipping but without these conditions. Martínez found that 71% of respondents prefer slower shipping if it helps the environment. 


Despite the data, E-tailers have not yet adapted Martínez's eco-friendly solutions. Instead, they shifted to electric delivery vehicles for economic reasons. A large publicly traded company  has already accumulated 100,000 customized electric delivery vans from Rivian. They deployed these in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Meanwhile, UPS has ordered 10,000 electric delivery vehicles from UK-based Arrival.


According to Dir. Samantha Gross of Brookings Institution, electric cars, albeit expensive, can be cost-effective. It is heavy-duty and uses electricity that is cheaper than fuel. More importantly, the US power grid shifts to greener alternatives. As such, there will be more sustainable energy sources for these vehicles in the future. 


Related Article: Buying Backyard Toys For Toddlers: Things To Consider

Final Thoughts

As I held my cardboard cat scratcher, I wondered why I chose to order this online. After all, biking or walking to the nearest pet store can likewise help the environment. Let’s all do our part and take care of our surroundings by shopping from small businesses.


At Buffalo Backyard Store, you'll obtain the high-quality goods you want while also protecting the environment. By shopping online today, you can be more sustainable and support small online businesses.