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Simon Leufstedt

Is Internet Shopping Green?

Do you shop online?  

  1. 1.

    • All the time; the variety is terrific.
      3
    • Only to use internet-only sites like eBay or Esty.
      1
    • Never, I like to see what I am buying.
      1
    • Occasionally when I cannot find what I want in a bricks and mortar store.
      2
    • I would if the shipping wasn't such a drag.
      0
    • I miss that sock puppet.
      0

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The IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) recently held their OnLine Green Awards — the OLGAs, which were voted on by more than 9,000 shoppers and a panels of judges. You can see the finalists by downloading the PDF, but of more intrigue for us was not so much who won the gong, but the assertions made by the IMRG about the Green Effects of Internet Shopping. They sprout some impressive figures. Such as: “Efficient package delivery by van can replace inefficient personal driving to the shops; in the case of grocery shopping, this could reduce vehicle miles by a 70% or more.” Or less inventory because there is a “tendency towards 'pre-selling' online - i.e. taking orders for products before they are built, [...] Research on the US book trade showed that a third of best sellers are unsold due to overproduction.’ And Dematerialisation, whereby many “retail products, such as music, entertainment, software, film, newspapers, dictionaries - and even money itself [...] are becoming digital and therefore downloadable. When this happens, the green effect of internet shopping on manufacture, packaging and physical product movement can be 100%!” See our related story on Green Music. IMRG realise that a true green comparison of CO2 emissions between internet shopping and other retail distribution models is required to back up these sorts of notions, and as such is a partner in the Green Logistics research consortium — six leading universities conducting retail distribution research over four years. See some of the findings so far appear after the fold.

• An OECD study indicated that use of internet retailing could eliminate the need for 12.5% of retail-building space, saving the energy and materials needed to build, operate and maintain buildings.

• Research indicates that internet shopping may use 40% to 90% less fuel than when customers drive their cars to the shops.

• An Ernst and Young study estimated that internet applications could reduce inventories by 25% to 35%, while IBM suggested that the savings could be as high as 50%.

• Researchers have reported customer mileage savings of 75%-95% where food-shopping trips are replaced by deliveries to their home.

Via TreeHugger

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You didn't answer the question. Define green.

More environmental friendly? Produce less greenhosue gases? Does it have a bigger or smaller impact on the environment than shopping offline does?

etc etc :rolleyes:

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I think we need a couple more people for a good survey sample :)

Yep, 5 people hardly makes the grade as a valid sample. However, on a "green" blog I suspect the results will stay the same.

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well you definately use your car less...less traffic jam...less CO2 released from cars.And of course less paper used ofr packaging and staff like this.. It surely has an impact on the environment. But less than going at the shops I think

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well you definately use your car less...less traffic jam...less CO2 released from cars.And of course less paper used ofr packaging and staff like this.. It surely has an impact on the environment. But less than going at the shops I think

From my experience, if you use the internet to check the stores in your area to ensure that they have what you are looking for, then you go to one store instead of 5.

Need to expand the concept of internet shopping to include that as well.

In a city like Atlanta, that could save 75% of driving time.

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From my experience, if you use the internet to check the stores in your area to ensure that they have what you are looking for, then you go to one store instead of 5.

In a city like Atlanta, that could save 75% of driving time.

This seems o good option. And could be even better if instead of using your own car you use public transport or just walk to the shop if possible

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I shop everything, except clothes, online.. :cute:

I don't shop much food online, only ordering some organic vegetable/fruit baskets every third week..

The funny thing is that if I want something from Elgiganten, a swedish electronic shop, like a cd player or a game, I just go to their site, order the thingy and walk down to the store to pick it up, for almost half as much as it usually cost in the store.. :)

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I for one think Internet shopping is a lot better and I like doing it too. I can find the good stuff online that I can not find offline unless I waste my GAS looking for it and most of the time, out here in the country, you are not going to find anything :(

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Thanks for the expanding definition. I don't really buy the whole 'green' thing. The whole Environmental(Political infiltrated) movement is interesting nonetheless. It's interesting, how consumers react to these kind of changes. Putting aside the whole 'green' thing, I do too sometimes shop online, but mainly for books. I don't buy anything else. I don't analyse or differentiate from buying from a store, as there is no point. I'm happy with each moment encountered. :)

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I for one think Internet shopping is a lot better and I like doing it too. I can find the good stuff online that I can not find offline unless I waste my GAS looking for it and most of the time, out here in the country, you are not going to find anything :(

Living in the country has advantages, I live in the mountains, on-line shopping can save a lot of gas. Books are a major part of my on-line buying since the discounters make it much cheaper to buy on-line.

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Living in the country has advantages, I live in the mountains, on-line shopping can save a lot of gas. Books are a major part of my on-line buying since the discounters make it much cheaper to buy on-line.

Yeah, books is the biggest expense from my online shopping... :blink:

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You can certainly argue that online shopping is greener, but it's not exactly greenest. After all, someone needs to come stop at your door to deliver goods and products, and chances are that someone comes to your place by car.

I think I briefly mentioned in this forum, but the main problem is the poor urban or rather suburban development. Look at US, for example. Suburb stretches out miles and miles, while there is no public transportation system. So, no matter what you try, you are destined to burn fossil fuels and / contribute to it very significantly.

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