Eco-nomic Solution. Is Online Shopping Good for the Environment?

Is Online Shopping Green?

Is online shopping an eco-nomic solution?

Now that the world has gone deeper into the climate change phenomenon, people have been finding ways to curb their carbon footprint — your environmental impact to Earth. Aside from the now-usual practices of green purchasing, pollution prevention, cleaner production techniques, and alternative ways to waste processing, technology could lead to a greener lifestyle too.

Talking business, this is where online shopping comes in.

Which brings in the question, is online shopping good for the environment?

I am not a businessman, but I’m a buyer. Personally, I find it useful to do things online.

In the Philippines, online shopping isn’t really practiced that much. At least, not yet. We have ebay, yes, or Filipino-established sites like and but these are nowhere near the likes of online shops abroad (where people could just be watching tv, and the next minute, buying the best speakers at the comfort of their homes!). Abroad, people “trust” that they could just use their Paypal or credit card, and have their goods delivered in no time.

In the country, even in Manila, online shopping is more like this:

  • Visiting websites and checking products
  • Coordinating with the seller via sms or email and haggling for discounts
  • Actually meeting up for the product [or a CDO transaction (cash on delivery)]

Although in a way, online shopping boosts consumerism (which is tantamount to more resources being extracted and more wastes generated), many people think that it is “green” and that doing so reduces their carbon footprint.

Want to save time and energy?
  • Save time and energy. Basically, to reduce your carbon footprint, you should do things in one trip. Now, with online shopping, there’s “no” trip necessary (atleast on your part!). There is no need to travel. No need for gas, or no need to pay the driver. No need to go to the mall, only to find out that what you want isn’t available. In online shopping, you get to save the environment, as well as the disappointment that goes with such an experience.
  • Online shopping saves you the cost of having to go to a place over and over (if you are still “undecided”). You could view an item anytime you want, review the specifications, therefore, saving on energy, effort, and time. On the side of the “seller”, no need to maintain shops that would eat up electricity costs, generate wastes and consume water.
  • Open Market. So many websites offer a chance for “ordinary” people (like myself) to sell or trade whatever old stuff’s just hanging in their homes. It promotes recycling and reuse. Your “garbage” can be gold to others so online markets can also turn your garbage to your gold.
  • Special delivery. On the part of the one who gets to give you your goods, delivery guys have always been delivering a number of “orders” in one trip (not one order, one delivery). It makes business and environment sense to save on gas.
  • Packaging. When you shop online, you get your product delivered to you all boxed up (with papers, styro, the works) but now, people have grown to realize that all these are not really “waste” but resource. All you have to do is let the Materials Recovery Facility (or junkshops) guys collect the cartons and stuff, (or even at the waste markets in malls) in exchange for money.

So, is online shopping an eco-nomic solution?

If we only have eco-friendly products in the market, then, online shopping could be greener. It saves more energy, gas, and other resources to”buy online” or “swap things online” than to go to one place, then to another, and then another, just because you can’t find the stuff you want. Hopefully, when you go online shopping, you also practice green choice and consider greener products. While people may argue that online shopping may lead to more consumerism, it all boils down to choice.

Choose green.


** Image credit: HebiFot, pixabay.

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