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Because You Asked

Because You Asked: Cyber Monday Dos and Don’ts

Written by Recyclebank .

In addition to avoiding the crowds and nightmarish parking, Cyber Monday can be a greener way to do your holiday shopping.


Dear Recyclebank,

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

Dear Jane,

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.

DO buy from environmentally aware companies. One Twine is a good place to start, as well as Forbes’ list of eco-friendly deals for Cyber Monday 2013.

How do you reduce the environmental impact of your holiday shopping? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • Donna C. 7 months ago
    A few years ago my family decided that everyone had enough stuff. We can all afford to buy whatever we do really need. So now we adopt a family in need and buy for them.
    • Kelly F. 6 months ago
      How about after the holiday season go through your belongings and donate a few items? honestly while it feels good to give, it also does feel good to get; you feel appreciated! but yea stuff does add up, but fun stocking stuffers are cool; you can also support local and independent vendors/businesses. Most churches and temples as well as schools have holiday boutiques. Support local, unique people! Also take advantage of holiday events: for instance, girl scouts near me host a fancy drive through light show (charges by car not person so each person in the car can chip in) and it supports the girl scouts; many organizations/schools/companies collect for toys for tots including my old high school and my workplace; fire departments usually collect toys for tots