Super Secret Ways Your Shopping Habits Impact your Carbon Footprint
With e-commerce being the way most of us shop these days, companies are making it not only easier but faster for customers to receive purchases. This is incredibly convenient, but something many of us have forgotten to consider is the toll of these new trends on the environment.
The Last Mile
The Last Mile, at least in retail, refers to the last bit of distance a package/service must travel to reach it's final destination (aka, the consumer). Traditionally, the bulk of a product's carbon footprint comes from this step since customers often take their own form of transportation to shop at local stores. It's said then, that eCommerce might actually produce a lower carbon footprint than traditional brick-and-mortar shops.
However, this is curbed by two things:
- While packages and parcels are now delivered right to people's homes, the convenience of quick and easy delivery is often paired with the offer for equally fuss-free returns. These returns mean twice the amount of transportation is required for a single item that in certain cases may even be disposed of, rather than resold. (This study cites over a third of shoppers returning items purchased three months prior.)
- The mitigated carbon footprint of customer transportation is largely offset by the added carbon footprint of the increased packaging required in eCommerce deliveries (check out this graph from a study done by MIT in 2013).
So are we doomed either way?
Well... doomed is a pretty heavy term. E-commerce might not be the all-in-one carbon-reducing solution we had in mind, but there are definitely ways to minimize the amount of carbon emissions in your digital shopping experience.
1. Batch your orders
By ordering your items all at once, this reduces not only the amount of packaging required to ship your items, but also the amount of transportation required to deliver your purchases to your doorstep.
2. Regular-day shipping
I know two-day shipping is exciting, but what that really means is instead of arriving in a vehicle with several other deliveries destined for your area, your purchase will be hitching a ride with someone making a extra trip to your area, just to make that deadline.
3. Check out what your favourite brands are doing
While purging carbon emissions completely is not feasible at the moment, you'll find a lot of brands are doing their best to minimize their carbon footprint, and even offset it. If this is your thing, definitely take a look at brands that are actively investing in their environmental impact. GreenStory's new program Zero in on Neutrality focuses on partnering with brands to not only track their carbon emissions, but offset them so they can be carbon neutral.
4. Offset your own emissions!
This is really exciting because I didn't know about this, but GreenStory has also created a program that allows individuals to participate in carbon neutrality too. For just $5 a month, you can balance your carbon impact by contributing to one of their many verified offset projects.
Carbon clean-up is a monster of a task, and there's still plenty to do. But we believe the little steps add up.
Which really... brings us to sharing some exciting news!
We're officially carbon-neutral!
Since 2018, Brave Soles has been working with our friends at Green Story to track the reduced emissions throughout our journey.
AND NOW, we're super excited to announce that Brave Soles is joining up with Green Story, once again, in their new carbon offset program. Under each of our Brave Soles products, click through the interactive map to get a better idea of how and where we're offsetting our remaining emissions!
Want to know more? Check out this post for the complete overview :)
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