Online shopping has gained a lot of momentum over the last few years, as retailers of all sorts move toward making it more convenient for consumers to shop. What doesn’t sound appealing about shopping in your pajamas, out of the comfort of your own home, any time of day? You get to avoid getting ready, driving to the malls, searching for a parking spot, the crowds, standing in line, etc. Sounds good — right?
You can virtually buy anything you want online, from groceries and clothing to electronics and furniture. You name it — it can be delivered to your front door. So as the world embraces online shopping we should consider this activity’s impact on the environment.
By not driving your car to the store to make your purchase, you are reducing air pollution. However the delivery of the item to your home will generate emissions, especially if items are being shipped from long distances. There are also air pollution emissions if you need to return an item to the online retailer.
Online shopping can result in a lot of packaging waste. Consumers end up with cardboard boxes of varying sizes, plastic bubble wrap, Styrofoam and other packaging waste.
Try to be a savvy recycler, not just a savvy shopper. Cardboard boxes, paper, cards, catalogues, all go in the Blue Box. It is also important to collapse, bundle and tie your cardboard boxes into bundles 3 feet by 3 feet by 1 foot. This size makes it easier for the collector to safely place inside the recycling truck.
Remember bubble wrap and Styrofoam goes in the garbage. Some local retailers take back Styrofoam peanuts.
Whether you decide to shop online or in store, remember to reduce, reuse and recycle!
About this guest blogger:
I’m Sanida Aljic and I’m a Waste Management Works Clerk for Halton Region. I provide customer service support to residents. I’ve been exposed to all areas of waste management including collection operations, planning and landfill operations. My curiosity is tested daily, as I learn something new, exciting and interesting here every day. So, remember to separate your waste, because waste is more than just waste.