As a shopaholic, I’ve had to adapt to staying at home with my 3 kids and not being able to mull something over in a store. So in the last few years I’ve really taken to shopping online. I think it’s fantastic, I can do it during nap time, where as running out to Wal-Mart while my kids are napping would perhaps be frowned upon…
I drive a van, and live in the country so I started to wonder how much gas I am saving by not driving the 20-30 minutes it takes me to get to civilization. I did a quick calculation, average gas price x how many miles per gallon my van gets x how far I drive to shop, turns out I’m spending about $9.50 in fuel per trip! That’s IF I found was I was looking for at the first store, not counting on the fact that most of the time I go to more than one place.
I started to really think about all the environmental benefits of shopping online and I came up with a few:
- Save on gas emissions ( my products are usually delivered to my post office)
- Save on gas costs (although unless I get free shipping I end up paying most of this back out)
- Consider how much power and waste (like promotional displays) come from a traditional store vs a warehouse
- Avoid receiving catalogues
Besides the environmental impacts there are other benefits:
- Get to research my products, and with my shift to a greener lifestyle, that’s pretty important.
- Don’t have to deal with crowds (ah..holiday shopping anyone?)
- Don’t have to deal with weather (do you have any idea how many snow storms PEI gets?)
- Read other customers review
- Can do it in your jammies
- Can do it while your kids run around you and scream with no one giving you a dirty look
- If you can’t find what you’re looking for online or the shipping costs end up being too high, you can always view fliers online to save you time when you get to the store
If your new to shopping online:
- Start small like a book or some toothpaste, don’t try to buy clothes online unless you have an easy body to fit to avoid disappointment
- Make sure you’re buying from a secure site or check out with paypal if you’re apprehensive of putting your Credit Card info out there
Although plastic bags are not in the mix there can be extra packaging when you shop online, some store do offer pretty eco-friendly shipping though. A few examples:
- Aldo/ Spring Shoes sends out their shoes, purses and accessories in a compostable bag (if you’ve bought from Aldo/ Spring Shoes in the past use your other shoes as a guide then tend to run a little small)
- Only Natural Pet store is working to become a zero waste company, they use recycled boxes and packing materials, and purchase only fully biodegradable, non-toxic packing peanuts made from cornstarch.
Other great stores online to shop at:
- Well.ca is great Canadian drug store with free shipping within Canada. They have a great Green section as well. One of my favorite products I have bought at Well is the Preserve Junior Endangered Species Toothbrush, my kids love animals so they loved this product! ( Drugstore.com seems to be its American counterpart with free shipping over $25)
- Raspberry kids, babygrins, and the Cloth Diaper Shop are my 3 fav kid sites (Great Customer service!)
- ebay is always great too, especially when you can buy something used as your also adding the benefit of reusing something! I have purchased everything from video games, to sports equipment and childrens clothes on here.
- Chapters or Amazon are both great places to buy books, with lots of free shipping promos going on
- Etsy has almost limitless items, I could get lost in there forever.
So if you’re not ready to take the leap yet to greener products, try this easy step to lower your impact on our pretty little planet.
PS. If there are any products that you would like to buy online and want a good site for let me know in the comments!