Let's Do This Together: Conscious Online Shopping
Almost everyone loves online shopping. It’s quick, convenient, and the perfect way to avoid crowds. But with same-day shipping and free returns on the rise, the hope of online shopping creating a lower carbon footprint than traditional shopping is fading fast. Here are four questions we ask ourselves before clicking “Complete Order” and four brands who are trying hard to be as eco-friendly as possible.
How much waste will this order produce?
According to the EPA, containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste. One of the simplest ways to avoid contributing to this problem is to contact your order’s shipper and ask if they can provide plastic-free or no-package shipping. (No-package shipping is when an item is sent in its original box, instead of inside another box surrounded by tissue, packing peanuts, or plastic air pillows.) Making an Amazon purchase? Select their waste-reducing Frustration Free Packaging option whenever possible. In the event that accommodations can’t be made, just do the best you can to reuse or recycle every element of the packaging you can.
How fast do I actually need this item?
Transportation is one of the top contributors to carbon emissions. Ordering from businesses located closer to you, opting for slower shipping, and combining purchases into one order are three effortless ways you can do your part.
Do I need all of this?
Not only will your bank account thank you for asking this question, but so will our planet. The marketing of free returns has strongly encouraged overconsumption, which all too often results in “time to send this back” situations AKA more carbon emissions.
Who am I buying from?
In recent years, many brands have become much more transparent about their sustainability practices. Before hitting checkout, see if you can gather any information about the brand’s ethics, manufacturing process, and so on.
Package Free Shop: This zero-waste store sources all of its products from brands who aim to make a positive environmental impact and ship everything they sell without plastic packaging.
Etsy: As you know, we love supporting fellow small businesses and artists, and Etsy provides the public with a great platform to do so. They also make it easy to communicate with individual shop owners, so you can request particular packaging.
1stDibs: Based on the circular economy, 1stDibs sells an eclectic, high-quality mix of vintage furniture, fine art, clothing, and more. Even better? Most of their pieces of one of a kind.
Rosie Barker: We may be a tiny bit biased when it comes to this recommendation (we recently assisted with her exciting rebrand!), but Rosie Barker is one of the most Mother Nature-obsessed brands we know. Everything she sells is handcrafted and made entirely of sustainable materials—the antithesis of fast fashion.
A zero-waste world won’t happen overnight, and trust us, we’re far from perfect. All we can do is work together to keep Mother Nature top of mind going forward.