The advent of online shopping has brought about a lot of convenience in the day-to-day lives of people. However, as human beings, it is important for us to note that each and every activity pertaining to the purchase as well as consumption of the products/goods that we use results in a carbon footprint.
Now, a lot of you might ask “What is the carbon footprint? And how does it concern us when it comes to ordering products?”
Here’s the answer….
The term “carbon footprint” has been defined by Wright, Kemp, and Williams as follows:
A measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions of a defined population, system or activity, considering all relevant sources, sinks and storage within the spatial and temporal boundary of the population, system or activity of interest. Calculated as carbon dioxide equivalent using the relevant 100-year global warming potential (GWP 100).
How does this concern us?
As we all know, when customers place orders with eCommerce businesses, such as ours, the goods ordered by them are packaged using materials such as cardboard boxes, plastic, tapes, stapler pins, etc.
Moreover, the shipping of products requires labeling, paperwork, and printing. Once packaged, these goods are transported first to the hub of the courier company, following which they make several stops before reaching the homes of customers. To consider the carbon footprint of the goods we order, here are a few things we need to consider:
1) The cutting down of trees
The cardboard used in the boxes is made from wood pulp that is derived after the cutting down of trees and clearing of forests. This results in the depletion of forest cover and oxygen-producing trees. The rapid depletion of forest cover can lead to lack of rain and other drastic weather changes.
2) The consumption of fuel & the resulting pollution
Once packaged, these products are transported from the company’s warehouse facility to the relevant courier company’s headquarters closest to the city in which the said company operates. From there on, it finds its way to the homes of customers across the country, sometimes, across the world. Even the transportation of the ordered items result in the consumption of natural resources such as fuel, as well as environmental pollution due to the emission of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. Not only do these pollutants pollute our surroundings, but also those of all the towns/cities through which these vehicles pass before and after delivering our goods to our homes.
My God! Does this mean I should stop ordering products online?
No. There is no need to stop ordering products online. Environmental pollution and the depletion of natural resources is inevitable as long as human beings exist on this planet. However, a small step, such as consolidating our products into a single order as far as possible, will save on the amount of packaging material used, documentation, as well as fuel consumption & pollution resulting from transportation
In an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of our eCommerce business, we at Barva Skin Therapie have started levying a small shipping charge on orders priced below Rs. 500. With this, we are aiming at encouraging customers to consolidate the products that they want into a single order instead of multiple orders. Irrespective of which site you shop, we request you to adhere to the above-mentioned point. When it comes to environmental conservation, even a little step goes a long way!