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Green Is The New Black

Make Online Shopping Green Again – 5 Ways To Lighten Your e-Shopping Load

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Girls and guys alike, a lot of us love to shop. From the latest Spring collection to Christmas gifts, online shopping is so easy in this ever-connected world. But with transport and packaging, our little box of goodies quickly racks up quite an impact.

So how can we lighten our e-shopping load and green online shopping?

With so little time, and when work gets stressful beyond belief, online shopping can be a convenient and welcomed relief. We don’t always have the luxury of time to head down to Orchard Road to browse our favourite items, so this is our next best option. We might feel like we don’t have much of an impact if we’re just buying a small box of goodies – boy, are we wrong. It can still be very environmentally damaging. In retail outlets, we can do things like bring our own eco-bags or refuse plastics. So what can we do when it comes to online shopping?

Here are 5 #littlegreensteps you can take as an e-shopaholic to lessen your impact.

1. Choose shipping by freight rather than by plane
Don’t underestimate the impact of shipping. Delivery by boat has been said to be more sustainable than by plane, and it also costs less for the producer as well as you, the consumer. Sure it takes a little longer to get to your doorstep, but you can always avoid this by ordering it early.

2. Buy things in advance
In line with the point above, try to buy things in advance. When we opt for speed, it creates more vehicles which leads to more emissions. If you buy things in advance, this gives companies leeway to consolidate and optimise their distribution which saves costs and saves the environment. Rushed deliveries disrupt the consolidation process, creating more traffic on the road just for that pair of socks. If you want things even faster, cycling down or taking the bus to your nearest store is probably greener and cheaper.

3. Recycle the things that come with your package
The damage (on your wallet and the Earth) is done, your package has arrived. Your green journey doesn’t just end there. Packaging is a big issue as producers usually use lots of packaging to ensure that your item arrives safely. But there are some things you can recycle. I mean, it’s not like you want or need them anyway.

  • > The brochures or cards that come with your package
  • > Plastic wrappers that come with clothes
  • > The cardboard box – just remember to flatten it!
  • > Paper stuffings (usually found in shoes)
  • > Bubble wrap (yes, bubble wrap)

3. Shop green brands
One thing you can’t recycle is the styrofoam peanut stuffing. Sad, we know – but you can always opt to buy from companies that have green packaging (think biodegradable stuffings). Or buy from green brands that practice ethical and sustainable production – we have a whole list of these amazing green heroes right here.

4. Avoid returns
Every return is another truck needed to come pick up your package and possibly another sail or flight too. Every return is a need for repackaging. That is a lot of CO2 and plastics being used just to return one parcel. Think before you buy, check the measurements and read reviews. Reduce your environmental impact and increase your happiness too, returning is such a bummer.

5. Go thrifting or renting 
Make pre-loved trendy again! Too some this may not be the most glamorous way to shop, but as they say one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Instead of purchasing new, why not check out what people are selling second hand or one of the incredible fashion savvy renting options. This way you can extend the life cycle of those clothes, get great outfits at even greater prices and own the look not the dress.
For Singapore – check out Style Tribute, Covetella or Rentadella.
For Hong Kong – Wardrobista and for the kiddies Retykle.

Hope these #LittleGreenSteps helped and if you have any tips we’d love to hear from you!

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An environmentalist, avid baker, and a dreamer with a goal to open the world of conscious living and responsible consumerism to Singaporeans and hopefully the rest of the world! She’s currently an undergraduate who’s hungry for an exciting adventure - or mostly just hungry. She hopes that by the time she graduates, she can help herself and her community leave green footsteps on this Earth we call home.