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Is shopping online better for the environment than shopping in stores?

Is shopping online better for the environment than shopping in stores?.

Okay, so I’m a bit old fashioned when it comes to a lot of things. I still read newspapers (about five most days). I continue to read real books (ideally hard cover). And I also prefer to shop at local stores and avoid online shopping for the fear that it would hurt my local economy. Whether this is true or not is besides the point, but new research points out whether or not online shopping is more or less environmentally friendly than neighborhood shopping. More from Per Square Mile:

Researchers surveyed over 700 in-store shoppers at two locations and 40,000 online orders. They then stratified their results based on travel distances to the store and distances from the warehouse to customers’ homes. At short distances—less than 8.6 miles or 14 km one-way—in-store shoppers slightly edged out online customers per transaction, about 73.8 g CO2 vs 77.9 g CO2. But over that, online shoppers’ footprints remained relatively stable while store goers emissions skyrocketed to as high as 451.4 g CO2 per transaction if they had to travel over 62 miles or 100 km.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.