By Haylie May
Being a student, having Amazon Prime free two day shipping is a blessing! I have gotten so used to deciding to treat myself and order a new mug, or some of my favorite lotions, and having it delivered in a blink of an eye- it’s like a little present for myself. Having quicker shipping for free is something that I take for granted, and I never think twice about it, because why would I not pick the quicker option if it’s free? However, one thing I don’t think of when clicking that button for express shipping is the cost it’s having on the environment.
After doing some research, I have found that online shopping actually isn’t all that terrible for the environment in general. Buying something from the store requires trucks to bring them in, similar to how FedEx or UPS would deliver to your house. It is when someone opts to buy something using express shipping that online shopping starts to take a toll on the environment.
The difference between two-day and five-day shipping lies with how many products can be put on the trucks. Due to the speed in which the trucks have to bring the items at, there isn’t time for the things to be consolidated and sorted to be able to fill the truck, and they are sending them off more often than needed. Most trucks run on diesel fuel still, so the more trips the trucks have to take, the more pollutants are being released into the air around us. Many people have moved to shopping primarily online because it is easier, especially now that the shipping is so much more time efficient.This also means there are more trucks on the road, which create more traffic for people to drive in, which leads to more and more emissions being produced every day.
By deciding to click on the five-day shipping, instead of two-day, you are allowing time for your products to be consolidated into one box. This makes it much more efficient and more eco-friendly by saving packaging as well as allowing the shipping companies to send the products in a more productive manner. Sometimes express shipping is necessary if you need something quickly, but many times people are just ordering a little cooking gadget of some kind, or a t-shirt, which are both things that you can probably wait an extra couple of days for. Most of the time websites are good at getting the products to people in under the estimated delivery time anyways!
(Image from this website.)