According to a recent article in Huffington Post, Canadian online shopping has outpaced traditional retail with Canada’s 2013 Black Friday online sales increasing by over 19.19% over the previous year’s sales. Such trend is expected because online shopping is highly convenient and efficient for shoppers considering that it can virtually occur anywhere at any time through personal mobile gadgets. Compared to traditional shopping at brick and mortar shops, online shopping is friendlier to the environment.
The impact of online shopping to the environment
1. Online shopping reduces the need for transportation
If the shopper was to buy from traditional brick and mortar shops, he needs to travel to reach the store that requires fuel consumption. Online shopping reduces the impact of consumer travel since online shopping can be performed from the comfort of home or the office. Not only does online shopping optimize fuel efficiency; it reduces carbon footprints.
2. Packaging can be recycled for another purpose
Online purchases are typically delivered in boxes, and these boxes can be reused for another purpose. Aside from being reused for packaging gifts to family or friends in far off locations, packaging boxes can be used for storage. If you do not have any immediate needs for the boxes, it can be dropped off to recycling centers.
3. E-commerce sites make use of sustainable packaging
It is very obvious that the demand for renewable packaging is to address the concerns over the longevity of natural resources. Companies that are implementing sustainable packaging are reducing their carbon footprints by using more of recycled boxes and packaging supplies. Instead of paper packaging, virgin fiber is sourced from renewable plantations.
4. Reduction of overall packaging
Consumers have their opinions about packaging, opinions that are expressed with the hope that major retailers will give the customer the option on how they want their orders to be packed. For example, Amazon is giving its customers the option between Frustration-Free Packaging and consolidation of all items into one shipment to reduce the need for packaging supplies.
While the choice to opt for online shopping is due to convenience, there is a rising awareness among consumers to support more responsible packaging to save the natural resources for the future generation.