How Can Online Shopping Be Environmentally Friendly

Online shopping has gained in popularity immensely over the past many years. Its growth has accelerated without a doubt due to Covid 19, where many areas in the world had to be in lockdown in order to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

With convenience, comes many problems. There are many arguments that online shopping brings more harm than good for the environment. The most obvious problem would be packaging. Unlike in stores where we have practices like ‘Bring Your Own Bag Day’, we cannot opt for such a service in online shopping. This is just one of a few problems when it comes to online shopping.

However, online shopping is here to stay. In this article, we shall talk about ways on how to make online shopping more environmentally friendly.

Click and Collect

Where possible, choose items and place your order online. Instead of opting for delivery, why not self-collect your purchases? Some might argue as to why is there a need to go to such an extent. Why not head to the shop, purchase the items and go? Believe it or not, when we have a list of what to buy, it can result in substantial savings. Have you ever experienced of wanting to get only a couple of items at the supermarket but when you get there, you purchase many other unintended things?

Furthermore, due to Covid, some shops do not welcome visitors. They only allow preorder of items coupled with delivery or self-collect.

Environmentally-friendly Delivery Vehicles

Sometimes, deliveries are unavoidable. For example, if we are unwell or ordering bulky items. Why inconvenience yourself when you have an easier option of just getting someone to deliver your items?

In such a scenario, best thing to do is to do as a business owner is to assign the delivery jobs to companies or individuals possessing environmentally vehicle like electric or hybrid models. If the recipient is not too far away, get riders on bicycles to deliver.

Online promotion

Instead of going through the conventional and once-successful way of traditional marketing like dissemination of information through flyers, one could promote or look for great offers online. As a consumers, one must be smart enough in looking for deals online. TVC is a widely popular site which provides its users with the best promotional codes that would certainly help them in getting more value for their money. Simply key in a store that interests you and TVC will generate a list of approved vouchers for you to use.

Allowing for longer delivery time

The urge to get our hands on what we have ordered is quite a concern. We have been so used to getting and trying immediately what our heart desires from brick & mortar shop. When we order things online, we do not mind topping up an additional amount of money in order for our delivery to be expedite.

This is quite a concern as we are not maximising the full capabilities of transport vehicles. Requesting for expedited delivery will cause the vehicles to be ‘underloaded’ and as with vehicles moving on the road, they do impact the environment negatively even if they are electrically powered or of hybrid nature.

Online shoppers need to be less impulse

The common problem with online shopping is returns. When you return something, the packaging used will increase. And definitely more carbon emission from delivery vehicles as now the driver will have to make extra trips in order to allow for your items to be exchanged.

As online shoppers, we need to have the responsibility to be less impulse and make smarter decisions. We need to know the size that we will be getting in order to avoid returns. Major online shopping sites have measurement charts and systems for you to use. Make use of them to make wiser decisions.

Consolidate orders of peers and family members

In order to reduce the trips for delivery companies, why not consolidate your orders together with your family and peers? You can act as the distribution point, if you stay close to them at least. This will also result in less packaging and boxes as the items can be mailed to an address instead of many addresses.


There you have it. Online shopping, like what I have mentioned, is here to stay. We can’t avoid online shopping due to its convenience and the variety of items that could reach you in a short period of time.

What we can do as consumers and business owners is to analyse our processes and make them more green for the environment.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.