The Süddeutsche Zeitung, a prestigious German newspaper, published an article in which it sought to debunk the myth that online shopping is better for the environment.
Many companies have championed online shopping as it reduces carbon emissions from costumers. According to the theory, with the click of a mouse, customers can simply obtain their desired goods without leaving the comfort of their home and thus, avoiding carbon emissions. The company German Post DHL, for example, has calculated that shipping a package via its delivery system creates less than 500 grams of CO2 emissions. However, as reported in the article, these calculations are far from the truth.
Carriers will transport the product to the customers home. But, if no one is to be found they will bring it back to the warehouse. Depending on the carrier, they will try to deliver the product up to three times. Afterwards, the buyer will have to go pick it up himself. Further, a good bought on the web, has the disadvantage that one does not have a “feel” for the product. The customer might end up not like the product after all. On average, one in three ordered product will be sent back to the store. This makes an annual total of more than 250 million returned packets. As seen in these examples, e-commerce can be more harmful than beneficial.
TheCompensators* believe that one can seek to improve these practices. Through CO2 compensation, one can make up for the CO2 produced by e-commerce. Also, TheCompensators* recommend shopping through Planet Help. By doing so, one can support a listed NGO without any additional cost. E-commerce might have its disadvantages, but with these tips one is able to make up for them.
If you would like to compensate for your shopping emissions, click here.