Online Shopping Better for the Environment

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that in April 2014, there was a 13.3% increase in online sales from the previous year and in May 2014, there was a whopping 17% increase in sales.  Some of this increased growth can be attributed to the World Cup, where people have bought items such as televisions and other electrical items in preparation for it.

This is good news because research has shown that shopping online rather than in stores, is better for the environment. A study from the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics examined the carbon footprint in different parts of the shopping process. It found that those who shop online have a carbon footprint two times smaller than traditional shoppers. Emissions related to packaging and delivery of the items purchased online didn’t outweigh the impact of customer transportation going to the store and back.

The study also looked at location and found that the further away you are from a retail store you want to buy something from, the more efficient it would be to shop online instead. This is because the transportation to and from shops contributes enormously to your carbon footprint. Any distance over 8.6 miles, and it is kinder to the environment to shop online.

If you must go to the shops, it’s recommended to share the ride with other people or take public transport.


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