At this time of year, most of us come home to doorsteps piled with Amazon boxes and other miscellaneous holiday deliveries. The U.S. Postal Service estimates that it will deliver roughly 850 million packages between Thanksgiving and the end of the holidays. That's 15 percent of the year's entire package deliveries. Yikes.
Unfortunately, the convenience of online shopping comes with an invisible price; it's harmful to the environment. Those large delivery trucks make up a hefty percentage of transportation emissions, and the more trucks are heading into neighborhoods and spread-out houses, the worse the environmental impact becomes.
So, how can you lessen the blow to the environment this holiday season? Use these shopping tips while hunting for the perfect gifts online.
1. Plan your orders strategically. Instead of placing five different orders, try to combine as many items as possible to lessen the number of deliveries made to your house. It's a small effort, but if everyone did this more often, we could cut down on carbon emissions substantially.
2. Stop automatically selecting the fastest shipping option. As tempting as it is to select two-day delivery every time you place an order, try to pick a longer delivery option if you're not in a rush. Even free expedited shipping takes an extra toll on the environment, so embrace patience and wait a bit longer for your packages when possible.
3. Have items delivered to stores for pick-up. One of the main reasons online shopping is harming the environment is that packages are going to so many different locations all the time. By consolidating delivery sites and picking your items up at the store, you can help the environment suffer less this holiday season.
How are you helping the environment this season? Do you shop online for most of your gifts? Let us know in the comment section!