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How to Shop Sustainably Online

Shop Sustainably Online

Christmas is coming and for many of us, that means more online shopping than usual. After all, those Black Friday deals aren’t going to buy themselves. But more online shopping can often mean more packaging and a bigger carbon footprint. Here’s how to shop sustainably online.

The problem with online shopping

We are so used to getting what we want at the click of a button. However, while there’s no denying that online shopping is convenient, it’s often not the best thing for the planet.

Have you ever ordered something tiny online which arrived in a large cardboard box, filled with padding and polystyrene? Well, you know what we mean. That’s without the number of delivery vans, planes, trains, and ships it takes to get the goods to us.

The good news is that as a consumer, it’s possible to shop sustainably online by making these changes.

Don’t buy as much

This may sound easier said than done. But before you head online, make a list of Christmas gifts and other items you need to buy and stick to it. The chances are, you don’t need to buy half as much as you think.

Place multiple orders with the same retailer

Has something on Amazon caught your eye? Wait until you need a few things to place your order and they can be shipped in the same box. This means fewer deliveries. If you want to shop sustainably online, this is a great way to reduce your footprint.

Want to shop sustainably online? Stop returning things needlessly

Hands up who’s ordered an item of clothing for a night out, worn it once, then returned it? Who has done this more than once? Well, consider this. Each time you send an order back needlessly, you’re doubling its carbon footprint. Not to mention you might end up getting blacklisted. The clothing retailer ASOS has a blacklist of customers who regularly return items. Before you order, read the reviews, check sizing, and if necessary, get advice from customer service. This will reduce the chances of you having to return what you order.

Get passionate about excess packaging

If you’re fed up with your goods arriving in excess packaging, get passionate about it. Contact the retailer on social media or via email and ask them to reduce their packaging. Point out that customers want to be able to shop sustainably online and their packaging policy is stopping them from doing so. You may not think you’ll make a difference but if enough people put pressure on brands, you just might.

Shop sustainably online with an eco-friendly brand

One way to shop sustainably online is to buy from an eco-friendly brand. Buy your Christmas gifts from companies that look after people, the planet, and animals and you won’t go wrong.

Ask yourself if you need to buy brand-new

Rather than buying a gift brand-new, could you buy a pre-loved or nearly new item? There are so many items up for grabs at amazing prices online. It’s better to give something a new home than add to the planet’s waste burden by buying another new product.

Buy local to shop sustainably online

Know of a great little business near you that sells the perfect Christmas gifts on Etsy? Order online from them and sit back safe in the knowledge that your item won’t have far to travel. Gifting with less impact on the planet? Check.

Christmas is the season to be jolly, not wasteful. Follow our tips and shop more sustainably online. Despite the gloomy headlines about the environment, it’s not too late to turn things around if we all do our bit. For more tips and articles on all things sustainability, check out the rest of our blog.

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