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Offline versus online shopping: Which impact do I have with my shopping behavior on the environment?

Whenever we hear about online and offline shops, we normally just consider which kind of shopping has more impact on the environment and which option causes more pollution. What are the crucial differences between the possibilities? When is it environmentally friendly to order online? Your NAKED crew tried to face important facts and information about the two possibilities and analyzed the green change in the E-commerce.

 

A comparison between offline and online shops

Let us get one thing straight right off the bat: Regardless of the advantages and disadvantages of different shopping options it is always the best possibility to leave the car at home and do the shopping by foot or by bike. However, if this option is not possible, you need to consider which kind of shopping – online or offline – is more useful for your situation. There is a myth that ordering online is harmful to the environment. Could it be true?

 

Shopping possibility 1: Going to the store 

Let us assume that we need a new kitchen supply. The supply is available in a casual electronic store. In case we decide to buy it directly in the store we first need to get into the car and go to the store. The different products are presented in a really nice way in the store. The entire sales area and the loading areas are supplied with electricity. As soon as we have found what we need, we are on our way back home. Again, by car of course. One of the main advantages of shopping in stores compared to online shopping is the advisory function. We can ask as many questions as we want. That means that products are therefore less likely to be exchanged or returned. Nevertheless, we still eject more emission than we are often aware of. [1, 8, 10, 11]

 

Shopping possibility 2: Online shopping 

If we prefer the convenient shopping option and order the required kitchen supply in an online shop, we can leave the car at home. For this option we need an electrical appliance and electricity to order basically anything we want. After placing my order, it will be forwarded to a logistician. The warehouse is also supplied with electricity. If the warehouse premises have a more climate-friendly electricity consumption than sales areas always depend on the certain logistics center. However, as soon as my order is ready for dispatch it will be transferred to a delivery service. The vehicle of the delivery service is not only distributing my package but also other packages to customers. That is the reason why the emission is lower than buying in the store. [1, 8, 9, 10]

The following graphics show how much carbon dioxide are ejected. The data is obtained from an article of the ÖKO institution [1, 8, 10]

 

 NEU-GRAFIK-Englisch

 

 

Reduction of pollution: Avoiding returns

Not only sellers but also customers have a huge responsibility in respect of the environment. Before purchasing a product, we should always ask ourselves: Do I need this product? Due to the simplicity of online shopping only one mouse click is needed to buy something. However, if we think about the purchase a second time maybe we realize that it is not that urgent after all. Furthermore, we should be aware not to hesitate if we have any questions. Each online shop offers support either in a forum or via e-mail. So, in order to keep the ecological footprint as small as possible we should avoid returns if we can and inform ourselves in advance. [1, 5, 6]

 

Green buying options in E-commerce 

To get one thing straight: The wish for comfortable and convenient shopping is becoming more crucial in our society. This wish is for sure provided by online shopping. According to a study by Statistik Austria in total 62% of 16- to 74-year-old people bought something online in 2019. [4]
The main reasons for online purchases are independence of opening hours of the shops range of products and of course convenience. [3]

 

Climate-friendly delivery options 

Ecological rethinking is a big deal in any company. Climate-friendly delivery options are increasingly offered. Although those options mean that deliveries may take longer than usual, it avoids additional journeys. The wish of comfort, convenience and sustainability is combined. [5]

 

Packaging material

Furthermore, online sellers can make environmentally friendly decisions when it comes to packaging materials. A study conducted by the ECC Cologne found out that one in eight consumers prefer less packaging material. This means that too large shipping boxes should be avoided and unnecessary air cushions should be saved. [7,9]

 

Climate-friendly rethinking at NAKED Optics

The green rethinking has also arrived in our company. It takes an important role especially when it comes to product development. Product optimization and change requires one thing above all else: Patience. 

 

Environmentally friendly organic-based eyewear out of synthetic

Some products like our goggles require a strong and robust material to withstand external influences such as UV rays or temperature changes. In case the wrong material is used, the lifetime of the products is shorter and they may need to be replaced more often. That is the reason why a change of the material for goggles is not possible yet. There are no better alternatives available on the market. 

However, we are currently researching and working together with our producer on organic-based eyewear out of synthetic. Research and development require sure instinct and fine-tuning in order to reach the desired firmness without compromising the durability of the products. We at NAKED hope to be able to offer the first goggles with the new material mix as early as possible. 

 

Savings in packaging material

For us a long lifetime of our products is close to our hearts. We combined this desire with an environmentally friendly idea. Each eyewear in our range is delivered with a case. The goggles and sports sunglasses will be protected any time when they are not needed and used. With the cases not only the protection is guaranteed but also packaging material can be saved. 

 

Get in touch with us

In the end it is important for us to mention that we are happy to give any advice you need. Before ordering online you should receive all information you would like to know. You are welcome to contact us about our products: support@nakedoptics.net

 

 

Fotocredits: Photo by @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Sources:

[1] https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/online-shopping-co2-klima-laden-1.4429396-0

[2] https://de.statista.com/themen/2875/e-commerce-in-oesterreich/

[3] https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/540616/umfrage/gruende-fuer-den-online-einkauf-in-oesterreich/

[4] https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000110395295/statistik-austria-62-prozent-der-oesterreicher-kaufen-im-internet-ein

[5] https://www.br.de/puls/themen/leben/nachhaltig-online-shoppen-102.html

[6] https://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/global-goals/sdg-12-konsum/online-shopping-einkaufen/

[7] https://webdata-solutions.com/2017/11/10/nachhaltigkeit-im-e-commerce-wie-gruen-ist-ihr-online-shop/

[8] https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/online-oder-im-laden-was-ist-besser-co2-ausstoss-beim-einkaufen-100.html

[9] https://www.quarks.de/umwelt/online-shopping-klimafreundlicher-als-einkauf-im-geschaeft/

[10] https://www.oeko.de/aktuelles/2015/online-shoppen-oder-beim-lokalen-haendler

 

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