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Internet Shopping - Save Time, Save Money, Save The Planet

Updated on June 14, 2012

Internet Shopping Is Environmentally Friendly

Web Shopping Is Green

Shopping on the internet is pretty much a mundane activity for most of us these days. Sites like Amazon and eBay have transformed the way that people shop. And those are just two examples. Most of the major supermarkets will let you place your grocery order online and then deliver right to your door. It’s much more convenient and you can often get a variety of “online discounts” and special vouchers if you look around a bit.

Apart from the fact that web shopping is often cheaper and more convenient, it’s also better for the environment. Did you know that around 65% of the carbon emissions generated by traditional shopping at the local store are as a result of the customer’s transportation to the store and then back home again?

In a recent study, conducted by Carnegie Melon University, buying items online was compared with the traditional visit to the shopping mall. One example used was the purchase of a flash memory stick and the results showed that buying online and having it mailed to the customer resulted in a 35% reduction in the environmental impact of the transaction.

And if you choose the right type of products you can make even greater reductions in the environmental impact. For example, if you decide that instead of buying a traditional printed book you’re going to buy an e-book and read it on your PC or Amazon Kindle reader, you will be saving the emissions of the car journey, paper, ink and all the energy expended in the manufacture and distribution of the printed volume.

Shopping online and choosing postal delivery is not only better for the environment – it will save you time and you will often get what you’re looking for at a lower price. You can increase the environmental benefits even more simply by choosing the right type of product.

You’ll get similar environmental benefits by choosing downloadable mp3 music files instead of CDs and you can now download movies direct to your PC or iPod from sites like Amazon and iTunes.

So when you’re shopping on the internet why not utilise a two stage selection process? First, if you save a trip to the store by buying a physical product online and having it mailed direct to your door why not do that? Even better, if you can replace physical items with downloadable ones the savings will be even greater. You’ll be environmentally friendly and you’ll probably save both money and time as well.


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    • Thamisgith profile image

      Thamisgith 8 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      JBGNET - thanks for commenting. I've now seen several reports that have concluded that the highest carbon emissions for a typical product are generated between the consumer's home and the retail outlet. It's amazing - but I suppose it makes sense.

    • jbgnet profile image

      jbgnet 8 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I really never thought about the green aspect of buying online - but when you think about is in many ways. Thank you so much for posting this hub.