“Amazon’s emphasis on speed compelled other retailers to hurry, too, and encouraged us to believe that if something cannot be had quickly, it is barely worth having at all. It is as if we have forgotten that a product is an object moving through space, fighting gravity, air resistance and other forces of nature.” (link 1)
Online packages shipped to our front doors make up an increasing percentage of our purchases, and they are especially present in the weeks leading up to the holidays. The aggregate impacts of the 165 billion packages delivered annually in the U.S. are not often recognized. The following Guardian article (link 1) describes how this growing far-reaching home delivery system affects traffic, road maintenance, waste generation, warehouse development, carbon emissions, and our own attitudes toward acquiring “stuff.” However, there are also strategies to reduce the negative impacts of the gifts and things we buy, including not rushing deliveries and opting for less packaging when possible (see more ideas in link 2). We can refocus our attention to homemade or experience-based gifts, reducing the goods that must be shipped to begin with, or shop locally to support not only our neighbors, but also the earth.
- Impacts of Home Delivery: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/21/how-our-home-delivery-habit-reshaped-the-world?CMP=share_btn_link
- Reducing Carbon Footprint of Online Shopping: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/7-ways-to-reduce-the-carbon-footprint-on-your-amazon-orders-2019-11-11