Holidays 2022: How to make online shopping a little greener

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — It’s the season when delivery trucks are particularly busy delivering carbon and pollutant emissions alongside online orders.

There are ways to take advantage of the convenience and savings of online shopping while minimizing the impact on the environment.

If you have Amazon Prime or Walmart Plus, you’re not paying for fast shipping, but the environmental cost of moving goods from a warehouse to your door can be high.

It is estimated that trucks and vans making deliveries emit more carbon dioxide annually than burning 4.5 billion pounds of coal. And that’s not just bad for the environment. Consumer Reports says it’s dangerous for us, too.

“If you breathe in the noxious exhaust fumes from passing trucks and vans, these are microscopic particles that can cause asthma. They can contribute to heart disease or cancer, and that’s been proven by decades of studies. And children and the elderly are particularly at risk,” said Consumer Reports’ Kaveh Waddell.

FedEx, Amazon, and UPS all have plans to introduce electric delivery vehicles, but that process will take years. So there are some things you can do now to lessen the impact of your family’s online Christmas shopping. First, see how and when you click buy, and plan ahead to avoid those one-off orders.

“It’s best to consolidate your shipments to just one order and select the lowest shipping speed available. This allows companies to keep fewer vans on the road,” Waddell said.

Even better, instead of choosing delivery, pick up your packages from a nearby location like a UPS store or an Amazon locker. This reduces the individual deliveries that these large vans have to make.

And remember that shopping local this holiday is a great way to help your local businesses and the environment, especially if you leave the car at home because of course walking, cycling or using public transport will reduce the environmental impact of your purchases further minimize .

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