Online Retail is Eco Friendly?
Online Retail is Eco Friendly?
It is a general assumption that shopping online is good for the environment. The perception likely comes from the idea that buying something from your computer would be less harmful than getting in your car and driving to the shopping centre. While I do wish to make a case for one being more wasteful
than the other, online shopping is much more harmful to our planet than our perceptions would let us
There are three main areas where the online industry is a heavy polluter and the first is hosting. Servers require a lot of energy, and when considering the accumulated affects of thousands of e-businesses, hosting produces a major environmental problem. The solution however is simple, choose hosting companies with green friendly options. Many large hosting companies already provide affordable green hosting options or you can find numerous companies that now specifically provide green hosting. A simple internet search with produce many options, but to view ten eco-friendly web hosts, visit http://webhostinggeeks.com/greenwebhosting.html
Another area where the Online Retail Community is hurting the environment is in its choice of packaging materials. Millions of packages are sent each year to consumers all over Australia, usually made of non-biodegradable materials. Simple steps in this area can once again have a huge impact on reducing our harmful impact on the planet. Environmental packaging materials are now available at competitive prices and a simple focus on more bio-degradable options will have tremendous effects. One company that focuses on green packaging options is MPS environmental packaging. MPS focuses on creating a range of eco-friendly packaging products: http://www.mypackaustralia.com.au/home.php.
The last significant area of impact that has gone overlooked is the how shipping hurts the environment. Every package that is delivered emits harmful pollutants into the atmosphere and once again when you multiply this over the millions of packages that are sent as a result of online purchases, the impact is tremendous. There is an innovative solution that is offered by Impact Balance which calculates the pollution that each delivery generates and allows you to purchase micro Carbon Offsets to neutralize your pollution. Impact Balance call this solution ‘DeliverGreen’, and you have the option to build the cost of the offset into your shipping charge, or make it a voluntary option that clients
can choose to select and pay for. Offset costs are cheap, with road delivery offsets between 30- 50 cents and air delivery offsets between 1-2 dollars. To read more about DeliverGreen: http://www.impactbalance.com/delivergreen
The reality is that the Online Retail Industry is a heavy polluter. This is because industry practices are not geared towards reducing the environmental impact that our businesses have. Taking a few easy steps towards helping the environment will not only keep our planet beautiful for future generations, but it can also provide great marketing options to the shrewd retailer. Regardless your motivation, these steps are easy to implement and taking the steps towards helping our planet is always a good decision.
Badi Sheidaee is the CEO and founder of Impact Balance. Impact balance provides clever solutions to offset greenhouse gas emissions generated by online retailers. Badi can be reached at :