shopping online this black friday? your habits could be good for the planet — or part of the problem
Think twice before you click on \"continue checkout\" and rush to take advantage of the wide range of deals that are coming online this holiday season.
These savings can be costly to the environment.
As online shopping becomes more popular, the consequences of waste management and transportation
The problem of related emissions is becoming more and more serious.
Both issues are already major environmental challenges across the country.
Transportation accounts for about a quarter of the country\'s greenhouse gas emissions, with millions of tons of garbage being dumped each year.
The question is whether to increase e-commerce
Business may be part of the solution or the only one, especially when people collectively turn to online shopping.
A survey of 5,000 Canadian online shoppers conducted for the Canada Post in March 2016 found that one out of every four respondents spent more online than stores in the previous year.
Most online shoppers (48 per cent)
Headquartered in urban areas, 31 in the suburbs and 20 in rural or small towns.
Online shopping is driven by opportunities to facilitate and compare products and prices, \"without the hassle of crowded people in stores,\" the survey reported \".
For Sam Copeland, 24year-
The old software engineer who works for a financial company in Amazon Vancouver is almost unmatched by its convenience.
He placed orders twice a month.
Soup, biscuits, oatmeal, toiletries-
You give it a name. Amazon has it.
Copeland lives in North Vancouver and travels by bus every day through Burrard Inlet to work in downtown Vancouver.
He has no car.
He also received a master\'s degree in computing finance through the University of Washington. time.
He said there are often many
His busy lifestyle makes the convenience of online shopping very attractive.
When he lives next door to the grocery store and walks down from a pharmacy in Kitsilano, which is a community southeast of downtown Vancouver, he rarely uses online services.
Now, he said: \"I really don\'t want to go home and go to the store by bus to buy toothpaste.
I can order and come back in two days. Perfect.
But online shopping, especially through e-commerce
Over the years, Amazon, the business giant, has received much attention for wasting packaging.
While the company says much progress has been made, items purchased online are packed in plastic air pillows, and packaging is still not uncommon in unnecessary large cartons.
These may be recyclable, but even in the hotbed of eco-protectionism-the Vancouver Metro, more than 14,000 tons of cardboard are thrown into the trash --
Not a recycling box-
According to the waste composition monitoring report for the year, 2016.
Amazon spokesman Kaan Yalkin said in a statement that the company has a global team dedicated to reducing packaging waste and increasing the use of recyclable materials.
Over the past decade, he said, the company has eliminated 221,000 tons of packaging through various initiatives.
Other companies including clothing store Toad & Co are working to reduce single
Full use of packaging, providing reusable mail programs to ship the product back to the store.
In addition to packaging, the rapid rise, in some cases as well --
Delivery on the same day caused a series of concerns of its own, especially in devastating wildfires, floods and extreme weather events where climate change worsened.
Anne Goodfield, transport engineer and founding director of the University of Washington supply chain transportation and logistics center, studied the impact of online shopping on travel behavior.
How it affects pollution depends on local factors.
But Goodchild says there is a real chance that the delivery service will be \"a significant environmental benefit \".
It\'s like a bus carrying goods.
Delivery services are often well organized to combine many deliveries into one vehicle.
Cities use similar models for services such as garbage collection.
\"It\'s more effective for us to have someone come over and get everyone\'s stuff,\" Goodchild said . \".
This is the \"Utopia\" point of view: \"a very efficient, very integrated, centralized distribution system, just like a cargo transport system.
\"In this case, delivery of goods can reduce the contamination of the distribution system\" last mile, \"Goodchild said.
But this is the best. case scenario.
When online shoppers ask for delivery of their products as soon as possible, the opportunity for efficiency is right outside the window, as well as environmental benefits.
Even in the best
There are two questions in this case.
Using delivery services can reduce emissions such as carbon dioxide, which can lead to climate change no matter where they are produced.
However, other contaminants released by delivery vehicles (usually diesel) may cause health problems locally.
Alex Bigazzi said the second question is that the environmental benefits of the delivery service actually depend on whether it offsets the use of individual cars, an assistant professor at the School of Civil Engineering and community and regional planning at Columbia University in the UK.
In cities where people tend to walk, ride bicycles or take public transport, you expect the benefits of online shopping to decrease and local greenhouse gas emissions may increase, he said.
In the wider area, people use private cars in the vast majority of travel, and the potential for environmental benefits is greater.
Goodchild agrees that explaining the net impact of delivery in one region depends on the details: the distance the parcel is departing from the warehouse, how fast the shopper is asking for delivery, and whether the shopper is using their car for another activity, and the time they save by shopping online.
In a statement, Yarkin said: \"Amazon is committed to improving product distribution efficiency by optimizing our transportation network and improving product packaging, thus minimizing our carbon emissions, implement energy efficiency measures in our operations and use renewable energy to operate our business.
He added: \"The company has improved its fleet to improve fuel efficiency.
These measures include the installation of automatic tires.
An inflation system that keeps tires properly inflated and maximizes fuel efficiency.
It has also signed the principle of sustainable fuel purchasers, which, among other things, aims to help increase demand for low fuelscarbon fuels.
But Goodchild says there is more work to be done to reduce the impact of online shopping.
Individual shoppers can also play a role.
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Krackshank is Vancouver-
Reporters reporting the environment.