Is online shopping really sustainable?

Feb 20, 2016 | written by:

Online shopping is certainly one of the bliss granted us by the arrival of e-commerce and the increasingly facilitated access to internet. For sure, you know well that feeling of satisfaction when the postman arrives directly at your home with your package ready to be discarded and maybe, at this time I'm encouraging you to do another small purchase.

But before to click 'add to cart', you should know that the online shopping, over the years, has considerably worsened the traffic congestion and carbon emissions associated with transport. Although, at first glance it does not seem: in reality the trucks used for deliveries contribute substantially to the concentration of micro pollutant particles (PM2.5) in the air, damaging the environment and our health.

The idea of ​​mapping all environmental impact of online shopping, it came to the University of Delaware: the institute's researchers based in Newark (New Jersey) conducted a survey on the habits and purchasing preferences of city residents and they have used the answers to estimate the amount of goods purchased through a click. Then, they added the number of trucks used for the deliveries and the number of packages that normally carries each. Result? The total number of miles traveled by vehicles has not decreased at all with the growth of online shopping, but rather: taking advantage of the time saved with spending on the internet, even the same buyers are more and more using their cars to go to the restaurant, cinema or to the gym, adding more vehicles on the streets.

With this news, maybe online shopping does not sound so green and sustainable: are you still determined to click 'add to cart'?

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