Shop Online Sustainably


It is believed that online shopping can be less damaging to the planet as opposed to traditional shopping, but how far is that actually true? With the growing online shopping market, the impact it has on the environment has also significantly appreciated in the past decades, especially for some stores that use exploitative production processes. As a consumer with no access to the information related to the inner workings of these sites and how these products reach us, it might be hard to identify how badly our consumer decisions impact the planet. Few retailers like Pravaah will provide you with the details of its transparent process but there are ways in which you can make your online shopping more sustainable even if such information is not readily available.

The first thing you need to look out for is the distance between your retailer and your location to assess your need to shop online. If the distance is greater than three kilometres then it is better to shop online but if the distance is lesser then shopping in person is better.

Many retailers also offer pickup options from their stores, so whenever possible customers should opt for this alternative. And when it comes to packaging most retailers now offer plastic-free packaging options or bag-free, so environmentally conscious consumers can shop with ease.

Ordering online is always exciting as it is like a gift from oneself, and oftentimes you cannot wait for this gift to arrive so you go for the expedited delivery option. This next-day delivery option can cost you and the planet. Quick deliveries consume more energy, including storage, transport and additional vehicles. Swift delivery options requirements often force the delivery partners to deliver with partly loaded vehicles making the delivery process futile and more damaging to the planet. Choosing slower and standard delivery options can be better for the planet and your pocket.

A plus point for shopping online is the ease of returning something that you don’t like but our returns can have an adverse impact. Buying things carelessly without reading the product description and reviews can lead you to buy products that might not meet your expectations. Even though retailers try to portray the products as accurately as possible in the pictures, sometimes it is just not possible to communicate the actual dimensions of other physical aspects of the product with just a picture. Reading the description and reviews given by other certified customers can help you understand the nature of the product to meet your expectations and therefore reduce the frequency of your returns.

Another strategy that can help you improve your online shopping impact is to group your purchases. As far as possible try to buy several things that you need at once instead of isolated purchases throughout a period. By bunching up your purchases you are saving up additional delivery trips to your location with the added benefit of discounts and offers with larger purchases. It also helps retailers save up on packaging by packing everything that they need in a single parcel. The feature that makes online shopping better is efficiency and you can help maximize this efficiency by grouping several purchases together to transform your shopping experience to become more sustainable.

Every little change in the right direction counts and changing the way you shop online to maximize efficiency is the way to go. With online shopping, there is not much to worry about as it is hailed as a greener alternative but our growing demands can have a significant impact on the planet. So it is always better to look out for ways in which you can make your actions more sustainable. 

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