I prefer to do my Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday to avoid the frenzy on Black Friday. How can I make it greener?
Jane L., Plainfield, NJ
That’s smart and eco-savvy of you to save your shopping for Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is to the internet what Black Friday is to brick-and-mortar stores, without having to contend with Black Friday travel and crowds. Although a paper published by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics concluded that online shoppers have a carbon footprint about half that of “traditional” shoppers, packaging and shipping can still take their toll on the environment.
Here are some ideas for a greener Cyber Monday:
DON’T place more separate orders than you need to. This can rack up fuel emissions and requires extra packaging.
DO consolidate shipping. Plan ahead and place one order per vendor. If you’re ordering a gift for someone who doesn’t live nearby, though, take advantage of any gift wrapping services the website may offer and send that gift directly to them.
DON’T wait until the last minute to order online, because rush shipping produces more emissions than regular shipping.
DO save the boxes and packing material from your ordered items and reuse them to wrap other presents.
DON’T order gift cards with needless waste attached. While physical gift cards can be recycled or reused, it’s one more step for the recipient to take.
DO send electronic gift cards instead, if possible. You can always exchange personalized touches of your own face-to-face.
DON’T buy without doing your research on a company or product.