In a world where information is available at the click of a button, more and more people are becoming aware of their environmental impact by lessening it through an assortment of eco-friendly efforts — recycling, using reusable bags and finding any means necessary to carpool. That being said, how environmentally aware are you as a consumer or business owner? While there’s no arguing that Zen Cart web development has allowed e-commerce to quickly become the most efficient way to buy, there are debates stirring as to whether it’s the greenest option. So, let’s dive into comparison and assess whether online shopping is as environmentally damaging as brick and mortar shopping.
How is brick and mortar shopping bad for the planet?
It’s easy to see how physical stores contribute to a larger, environmental footprint. From start to finish, trees need to be cleared to make room for the building site, materials are then gathered in order to develop the space and then comes an endless list of expenses that have an underlying eco-impact — electricity and air conditioning/heat within the space, transportation for goods being delivered, waste for the products that are shipped and unpackaged — all which require high energy consumption.
How is online shopping bad for the planet?
Sometimes the vast opportunities to save online can come with a steep environmental cost and with its growing popularity, it’s important to be mindful of your personal carbon footprint. With enticing websites drawing in shoppers through various Zen Cart web developments and alluring design work, it’s hard to resist the need to buy. That being said, there are two main factors that should be considered from a consumerism and business owner standpoint, waste management and transportation.
Waste management is an ongoing environmental threat, with mountains of packaging presenting problems for those who’re trying to adhere to an eco-friendlier lifestyle. Large, cardboard boxes, packing tape and a cushioning of bubble wrap are often trash left behind once your order is unraveled. So, what are you able to do as a consumer? If you want a more environmentally-friendly shopping experience try to consolidate your orders by purchasing multiple items from the same supplier and give preference to delivery services that use returnable crates. And how can business owners contribute to the cause? Retailers should do their best to limit packaging and seek out biodegradable and recyclable shipping materials. It would also be beneficial for them to utilize the services of returnable crate delivery companies so that their packaging is able to be minimized.
Transportation is another ongoing environmental threat, accounting for an endless amount of greenhouse gas emissions due to online shoppers ordering from extensive areas ranging from rural farmland to the suburbs. Consumers can help make shipments eco-friendlier by agreeing to standard delivery rather than express delivery when they’re processing their order. This will ensure that their parcels will be transported alongside other people’s goods that are going to the same areas. Sure, it might take a bit longer, but it’s a small price to pay (often free!) to enjoy a minimal change in your shopping habits. Business owners can also set the stage by not offering express delivery options. They can also consolidate their orders by enlarging shipping times to reduce the amount of transportation that’s used on their deliveries.
In a nutshell, online shopping, if carried out efficiently by the consumer and e-commerce business owner, has an approach that is far more sustainable and eco-friendlier than your average brick and mortar store. Although physical shopping has become more in touch with environmental concerns, the industry has a long way to go before it can be an eco-friendlier experience.
What do you do to live an eco-friendlier lifestyle? Drop a comment below to start a conversation.