December 10, 2009

Shopping Online Uses 40% Less Fuel than Going to the Mall

I sometimes wonder if shopping online is really more eco-friendly than running out to the store. Sure, you can often find more green products online than you can in your local stores, but what about the emissions of shipping? According to, e-commerce is earth-friendly:

"Shipping 10 pounds of packages by overnight air -- the most energy-intensive delivery mode -- uses 40 percent less fuel than driving roundtrip to the mall. Ground shipping by truck uses just one-tenth of the energy of driving yourself." - Center for Energy and Climate Solutions

All products, even the ones you find in your local store, come from a warehouse. When you shop online you cut out one trip the items you purchase have to make - rather than shipping from the manufacturer to the warehouse to the store they're shipped straight from the warehouse to you. Not only do you reduce the amount of energy and resources used in transporting the items, but you also cut out the need to light, heat, cool and run a brick and mortar store.

Think of it this way- shopping online is like carpooling, your package shares a ride with hundreds of other packages rather than hundreds of people driving to several different stores.

I think one exception to this information is if you are already going to a store for multiple items, then it only makes sense to buy what you need there instead of ordering online. For example, there are a lot of wonderful natural beauty products online, but I would rarely order them if I can find a comparable product at the coop where I am already buying my organic groceries.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at December 10, 2009 1:55 AM

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