With a simple tap on your mobile phone or a click on your computer, you can virtually get anything you want from any store through online shopping. It’s convenient. It saves time, and you will get it right at your doorstep!
But, it turns out that online shopping can be wasteful. So, what can an eco-conscious consumer do to cut waste?
1. Shop smarter.
Online shopping has been around for a long time, but with various countries all around the world experiencing lockdowns due to the pandemic, this has led more people to turn to online shopping to get what they want and need. As a result, this made the planet’s plastic pollution worse.
Conscious E-commerce Shopping
The key to cutting waste is to shop smarter. As an example, let’s start with the most basic step. Simply take a pause before tapping that check-out button. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really need this?
- Is this purchase urgent?
- Will I be using this non-food item immediately?
- Do I have proper storage for this food item or will I consume it immediately?
- Do I already have an item like this?
If you find yourself realizing that the item that you are trying to buy is not essential, not for immediate use or consumption, or is something that you already have, then it might be best not to proceed with the purchase. You might even find yourself thinking that you can probably DIY the item. That’s a win for the planet, and not to mention, your wallet!
If you really need to buy something online, what you can do is plan your purchases. For instance, consider consolidating your orders into one shipment to reduce packaging waste. Some stores on e-commerce websites keep their stocks in the same warehouse.
You may request the stores to send everything together. If that’s not possible, ask to have your orders sent in as few shipments as possible.
Less Waste on Food Delivery
Research has found that food delivery produces more plastic waste compared to eating at a restaurant. Now, how can one cut waste from food delivery?
One easy way is to refuse disposable cutlery. Inform the restaurant that you won’t be needing single-use utensils. Use what you have at home. It’s way better quality than using plastic disposable ones that can easily break anyway, and it’s good for the planet.
If your food came with plastic microwaveable containers, consider cleaning them for reuse instead of throwing them right away. Once you need to dispose of them, make sure to clean them first and put them in the proper disposal bin.
Alternatively, you may also choose to order from restaurants or delivery services that offer food in eco-friendly containers or reusable containers. Green Chef, for instance, is a certified organic company that delivers healthy and delicious food right to your doorstep. They use eco-friendly food packaging that is compostable. On top of that, they offer keto and paleo meals made with sustainably-sourced ingredients.
2. Shop from zero-waste brands.
The second major tip in cutting waste from online shopping is to buy from eco-conscious brands that use zero to minimal product packaging or recyclable materials.
One example is EcoRoots. It is a zero-waste store of personal care products that are free from plastic. They completely eliminate plastic from every order by using recycled and biodegradable materials.
Zero Grocery, on the other hand, promises to deliver plastic-free groceries right to your doorstep. They offer a wide range of organic food items, a selection of alcohol, pantry needs, produce, meat, and more. Zero believes that you can have what you want and still protect the planet.
3. Buy eco-friendly alternatives.
The third major tip is to select eco-friendly product alternatives whether you are shopping for everyday items for yourself or gifts.
Let’s say that you are shopping for supplies in preparation for a party. So, instead of buying single-use cutlery and plates, opt for eco-friendly alternatives such as using existing reusable items that you have at home. If that’s not workable, check out eco-friendly disposable cutlery.
When shopping for gifts, you can cut down on waste by choosing eco-friendly options such as this zero waste gift box from EarthHero. The box contains reusable products from various brands that come in plastic-free packaging. Your loved ones will surely enjoy this gift!
Lastly, when buying products for daily personal care, explore zero-waste alternatives. For instance, the use of single-use cotton rounds is part of our skincare routine, however, it is also very wasteful.
Switch to a more eco-friendly option, such as these reusable organic cotton rounds, made with sustainably sourced materials that are natural and eco-friendly. One set includes 7 rounds that can replace 1,750 single-use cotton rounds and a case that is completely compostable. Use it like you would normally use a regular cotton pad.
Minimizing or eliminating waste from online shopping is possible. There are so many ways that you can do to achieve this starting from the store, the packaging, and even the product itself. Mother Nature will thank you for it!