Finals, Flash Deals, and Free Shipping

Is online shopping environmentally ethical and is your finals stress shopping hurting the environment?

With Finals nearly upon us many-a-student, myself included, will be stressing out over exams and essays. One of the common ways I have noticed students de-stressing in these heated exam seasons is popping onto some of their favorite web stores and checking out some sales. With all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals creeping up in stores, now is a good time to think about how all this shopping is affecting the planet.

While online shopping is better for the environment in theory than going to the store, due to the transportation of goods in mass to consumers rather than each individual shopper getting onto the road, with the advent of priority shipping this environmental advantage is not so true. The availability of free and fast shipping is a godsend on those occasions when the bookstore runs out of something you need for class or you just need a pack of 20 sheet masks in bulk for $12, but this demand for quick shipping has some unfortunate consequences.

When shipping and packaging companies are required to get you your package in two days, they have to send out trucks that are oftentimes not filled to capacity, thereby making the trip less efficient than if they were allowed more time to send as many packages as possible in a single trip. It is very similar to the desire to get all your grocery bags in one go when you are taking them in from the car. It might be easier to take two bags in each arm and just go back for that last one but when you know you can get them all at once it feels like admitting defeat to make that second trip.

All this being said it might be a step in the greener direction to check the longer wait shipping option next time you are checking out even if it would be nice to get your package just a few days earlier.

[Photos credit to pxhere]