Costa Samaras quoted on environmental impact of grocery trips
Consumers could be forgiven for assuming that shopping online has a lower carbon footprint than buying in-store. For many, the online option saves them a trip in the car, and it stands to reason that logistics companies would be good at generating efficient delivery routes. Yet, new research published in Environmental Science and Technology focused on U.K. shoppers not only suggests the reverse, but concludes that there’s a third, even cleaner option.
The hybrid brick-and-mortar-e-commerce method, called “bricks and clicks,” is less polluting than traditional shopping, which itself is usually cleaner than parcel-shipping from an online retailer warehouse, the researchers found. “The more they buy in one go, the less carbon footprint they will have per item purchased," says researcher says Sadegh Shahmohammadi.
CMU Associate Professor Costa Samaras adds, “If you're going to drive to the store to get something, combine that trip with other errands,” he adds. “Better yet, take your bike.”
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