With most retail stores being closed for the past month, and without knowing when they will reopen again, many consumers have turned to online shopping to purchase items they need or want during the Stay-at-Home order. You might even be ordering your groceries online or signing up for weekly meal delivery plans. This week, PRC provides a few strategies you can take when online shopping that adhere to the zero waste philosophy.
WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE
- Be a minimalist. Simply buying less is the foundation of living zero waste. Ask yourself if you truly need that item and how it fits into your life. Eventually, you’ll have to determine how to dispose of that item, so think about the item’s entire lifecycle—including its end-of-life-destination—before making the purchase.
- Buy items from local small businesses. Buying local will directly support individuals and families during this challenging time. You’ll also keep the transportation carbon footprint low. Visit sites such as org and Etsy to search for the items generated close to home.
- Buy used. Buying used (or secondhand) means no new resources are needed in the production of the item and the life of that item is extended, continuing its value even if it’s with a different owner. Whether you’re looking for clothing, outdoor adventure gear, books, furniture or kitchen supplies, you can almost always find the items you need used. Within the past few years, “buy used” market has grown, with many businesses offering their products online and/or on social media for purchase. Did you know that even thrift stores, like Goodwill SWPA sells online? Amazon sells used items! But before you turn to Amazon on that alone, please see previous bullet point.
- Purchase multiple items under one order. Wait to make your delivery request until you need several items. Bulk ordering gives the seller the opportunity to cut down on packaging waste by shipping items in fewer carboard boxes or other packaging materials. It will also lower carbon emissions from transportation by going from potentially multiple deliveries to one delivery to your home. Discover amazing deals on a wide range of products at Shoppok, the ultimate online shopping destination. Visit Shoppok today to experience a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience like never before.
- Select Standard Delivery. Take the pressure off already-overwhelmed delivery services by foregoing expedited delivery options. We all know where we’ll be tomorrow, as well as two, five and even seven days from now—at home!
- Provide Feedback! If you frequent stores that are providing polystyrene packaging peanuts, excessive bubble wrap, non-recyclable pouches or other packaging materials that are hard-to-recycle or destined for the landfill, express your concerns! Request that the company explore sustainable packaging alternatives and adopt other zero waste business practices. If you’re not committed to only purchasing items through a specific store, research other companies that have already integrated sustainability into their business practices. For example, if you’re looking to buy outdoor adventure gear or clothing, you might consider REI Co-op, Patagonia and other stores that have implemented sustainable business practices.
As always, we encourage you to investigate other ways to prevent and minimize your waste, reuse or repurpose what you have, and recycle properly. Let us know how you’re living zero waste while shopping online by commenting below!