Although we use the Internet to do more and more of our shopping, one type of shopping that most people still do offline is their grocery shopping. If you are someone who is conscious of your environmental footprint, grocery shopping online is something that you may want to consider. A study performed by the Carnegie Mellon Green Design Institute in 2009 showed that shopping online can reduce our environmental impact by as much as 66%. Grocery shopping online has many of the same benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Less gas
By far the biggest help in reducing environmental damage is the amount of gas reduced. When you order online, you don’t need to drive your car to and from the grocery store. Instead, a large truck will deliver the food to you. Now, you may be thinking that even though you’re cutting down on the amount of gas used, the truck must still use gas to drive to your house. That’s true, but consider which of these scenarios uses more unnecessary energy: a single person hopping into a 2 ton vehicle to drive to and from the store; or a few extra pounds of groceries placed on a huge truck that was already going to be driving through your neighborhood anyways. The exception to this is if you choose express overnight delivery on an airplane. If you want to help the environment, you should consider avoiding that option on all your online purchases. Buying online also requires extra packaging, but this is more than offset by the energy that is saved.
The great thing about grocery shopping online compared to in a brick and mortar store is the selection available to us. Although offline stores often have a green section or aisle, they simply can’t stock every green product available. When you buy online, you can make sure that the products your buy are the greenest and most environmentally friendly products available. Many smaller grocers specialize in products like these, and you can buy direct from them. You can also comparison shop and read reviews of many more products when you shop online.
Although there are many benefits of buying online, there is one last option that’s even better. Walk! If you walk or ride your bicycle to the store, then you get the best of all worlds. You won’t use ANY gas, and you’ll also save from all the packaging that is required.