Going Green By Shopping Online
When most people think of adopting a “green” lifestyle it can sound daunting. But, going green is sometimes easier than the alternative. For instance, online shopping for health and beauty products is better for the environment than driving around to a bunch of stores. It also saves time that can be used on more exciting things like getting out and enjoying the great Spring weather! Ecomii has a created a great list of the benefits of shopping online for the environment.
The obvious benefit of reduced emissions from not driving or using gas is the most obvious benefit to online shopping. But, remember, it still takes a truck to deliver your online ordered items, so the ultimate green way to go about delivering is to get multiple households in your neighborhood to order from the same place on the same days.. This would be the equivalent of multiple households carpooling to the store or, one truck coming to a neighborhood of 25, versus 25 cars driving to one store.
Additionally, consider the fact that when you order online, only the exact items that you order need to be shipped. On the other hand, a storefront must pay to ship huge quantities of items, even those that may never sell which may wind up being shipped back to the manufacturer a second time. Online shopping also cuts out much of the cost associated with staffing and running a store, which leads to lower prices and more money for consumers to put elsewhere into strengthening the economy.
More Eco-Friendly Options
Generally your options to eco-friendly and green products is much, much larger on the online market. Most stores simply cannot afford to stock a huge selection of environmentally-friendly products. Shopping online greatly multiples your options and your ability to put your money into businesses and manufacturers that are dedicated to sustaining the environment. So, not only do you have the ability to eat and use green items, your funding contributes to the growth of green businesses. Double win!
Less Wasted Perishables
If you can locate a local farmer, chances are good that your food will not be picked until you order it. This eliminates wasted produce that sits in grocery store shelves until it passes expiration and is thrown out. Plus, your food is guaranteed fresh, and minus a drowning of preservatives and toxins. Again, see if you can get your neighbors in on a local weekly delivery – the benefits will be multi-fold and the combined reduction in the carbon footprint of everyone will be astounding.
Because there are so many comparison shopping sites available now, it’s much, much easier to find good deals. The amount of money you can save by finding the lowest prices available, especially on large items, can be poured back into the environment in various ways, such as making it easier for you to purchase greater quantities of your fruit organic, or having some set aside to pour into a conservation project of your choice.
Online Coupons and Rebates
Regardless of whether or not you decide to go all the way and shop online, I strongly encourage you to use your coupons online. Searching a site or a manufacturer will often prove fruitful simply in its offering of money off or money back. However, consider that it takes 500,000 trees to provide the paper necessary for Sunday newspapers – a large portion of which is coupons. It also takes 1 ½ cups of water to make one sheet of paper, and therefore the 40 million people currently printing coupons just used up 3.75 million gallons of water!* Trust me when I tell you that using those valuable coupons online is a huge eco-friendly step.
In a manner of “recycling” online, I encourage you to check out online swap sites. You’ll come in contact with others of a similar mindset, and not only will you be able to find some great savings on things you need through a recycled manner, you can also clear out your own home and help someone else.
In case you missed it, make sure to check out our list of 25 wasteful things you can live without. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or tips about shopping online by leaving a comment below!
(Image courtesy of PlanetGreen)