Online shopping might actually be more harmful to the environment

by WF- Enzo Administrator
8 replies
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A new report from the journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that the most environmentally-friendly way to shop is, well, going to a physical store, rather than buying online from stores with no physical stores.



The study finds that shopping at physical stores for frequent commodities such as toothpaste, toilet paper, and shampoo, actually results in less greenhouse gas emissions than ordering similar items from an online-only store. And the reason? It's because people shop online frequently, but only buy a few items per purchase. In contrast, people flock to, for example, groceries, and buy things in bulk which results in less trip to the store.

"When they shop in a store, they aggregate these purchases in a single bulk purchase," said Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student in Environmental Science at Radboud University in the Netherlands.

The study also shows that frequent online purchases produce more packaging waste, and online items often come from different distributors using different shipping methods (delivery van, etc), resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions.

This makes sense - if you think about it there is lesser carbon footprint when you buy your favourite pair of jeans from a store, than buying them through Amazon. Buying physically means there's less carbon involved, and end-user packaging is often merely just paper bag whereas online purchase involves a lot of stuff - moving the item from the seller to a distribution centre, then from the centre to another, then to the airport or seaport, and so forth. That's just a lot of carbon emitted.

Chime in.
#environment #harmful #online #shopping
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  • Profile picture of the author Eva11
    I agree with you. I always prefer to shop on physically exist store.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ahsan Mirza
    I agree with your point and furthermore we cannot trust this online shopping mafia as you order one thing but you always get something irrelevant or of low quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Whether ordering online or buying in a store it's the buyer's choice that determines quality of the product.


    A study by a Ph.D. student in the Netherlands isn't going to affect my shopping habits. I drive far less miles due to online shopping - his conclusion that most people buy 'in bulk' may be true only for his own region.


    I think online shopping is the best invention of all time - right after bread and coolwhip (wait, and air conditioning)....


    i am environmentally concerned about destruction of rain forest and wildlife - about over development of coastal areas, etc. Meanwhile the holes in the ozone layer seem to be repairing themselves and with the pollution of countries like India and China we can't really take credit for it.


    When the earth has had enough of human messes...it will rid itself of humans (or most of them) and the earth will repair itself and keep right on going. I'm told that's a 'convenient' way to look at it - but is it any better to obsess over it? Don't think so....but provides a lot of grant money for grad students.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    If you make it through the original report titled: "Comparative Greenhouse Gas Footprinting of Online versus Traditional Shopping for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods: A Stochastic Approach" without losing the will to live, you might consider the effect of such pointless academic research papers on the overall mental health of the population.

    The fact is that consumer behaviour, like most other human behaviour, is interconnected. People shop online or shop in physical stores based on the totality of cicumstances, both general and specific to them, that currently exist within the scope of those two activities. Changes occuring in either one are bound to have an impact on the other, both positive and negative. The online genie has long since left the bottle
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    oh, the humanity.
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  • Profile picture of the author e-mail2u
    So do jeans just magically appear in physical stores?

    Think about it for a minute they go through the same process as buying on line shipped though distribution center, then from the center to another to arriving at the store in a box which is thrown out. Which would be the last step if you ordered online.

    Now you have to drive to the store which increases the foot print and your going to stop for coffee maybe some fast food Where as the UPS driver is on a route which gives him or her the most optimized route for deliveries.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darrell Hagan
      Originally Posted by e-mail2u View Post

      So do jeans just magically appear in physical stores?

      Think about it for a minute they go through the same process as buying on line shipped though distribution center, then from the center to another to arriving at the store in a box which is thrown out. Which would be the last step if you ordered online.

      Now you have to drive to the store which increases the foot print and your going to stop for coffee maybe some fast food Where as the UPS driver is on a route which gives him or her the most optimized route for deliveries.
      Exactly...
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  • Yes, it is true that online marketing is harmful to our website because the devices that we use in online marketing come out of radiations which is not right for us.
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