Can someone tell us where the spooky season went? November marks the end of warm weather and devilish celebrations, and the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’re the ozone layer. The transition from sugar highs to shopping sprees is an undeniable shift from bad choices for your body to bad choices for the environment and your wallet, and the modern day changes in the way we shop are making our buying choices and the season that inspires them all the more questionable.
We all know the thrill of Amazon; we order a package and with the blessings of Jeff Bezos and his 2 day, and sometimes same day shipping options, we have our package in the blink of an eye and move on to our next fix. Unfortunately, few think about the cost of that instant gratification and the environmental impact of our impatience. The United States Postal Service handled an approximate 16 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in 2018 - a large portion of that coming from Black Friday, and more recently Cyber Monday deals. This year, that number is estimated at 20.5 million packages per day between those dates. Depending on the distance these packages travel and the means in which they are shipped, you may as well stuff your stockings with coal and call it a year!
We all work hard and the time we have left over, if any, is often used to spend time with our friends and families, so the convenience of online shopping is understandable. This year, let's take into consideration the way we buy and how we can offset the environmental damages of our online shopping fixation, and bring the family along for the ride.
Start by finding stores with missions that align with yours. Often companies who include environmentalism in their “About” sections and offer wares that are sustainably produced will be working towards earth-friendly shipping practices. Just in time for the holidays, Dropps is now shipping 100% carbon neutral, and we aren’t the only ones! Take some time to scout out these brands and we know your conscience will thank you.
The products you buy can also have a major impact, as the shipping from warehouse to consumer is not the first step in production or distribution. Consider buying local, or at the very least products made in your country. Local businesses who create their own products often source ingredients and materials from their area. Boost your local economy and help a neighbor by ditching online shopping for just one of your shopping days this year and check a local farmer’s market. You’ll get to meet the maker, develop a more personal relationship with them, and get any questions or concerns you have answered in real time - that’s what we call customer service!
Finally, if you can, combine your shipments. Plan ahead and order as much as you can from your favorite store in one go, rather than ordering per person you are buying for. This way you can buy for the whole family in one transaction, one shipment, and one bill, instead of 16 different boxes and shipments with the carbon footprint to show for it. With all these tips in mind, we hope you take the time to shop and ship responsibly this year, and in all years to come!