A strange relationship: my conscience and online shopping…

Our household, besides my wife and myself plus cat and dog, counts a teenager and three young adults who have temporarily moved back home, whilst a house purchase is completed and a rental contract on a property starts during the summer.

A bit busy, but nothing too unusual.

Like any modern family we buy online as well in physical stores, however when you break it down, it is interesting to see that food without exception is bought in store and I’d say 80% of everything else is bought online.

A typical Saturday, sees on average 4 packages being delivered by 4 different people – some by a man with a van, some by individuals driving their own car, making a bit of money on the side (I hope).

And here is my point, has anyone done any calculations or made any estimates of the environmental impact all these separate delivery drops have?

With all the algorithms in the world, it would be impossible to group all these orders together and make one rather than four deliveries, unless they all came from the Amazon distribution centre, which they do not.

So there is wear and tear on the roads, sometimes congestion (I imagine if we lived in London, all these vehicles would definitely add to congestion on the roads) and there is pollution.

Although I do nothing about it (other than writing this blog so far), it makes me guilty to take these deliveries from different sources.

So what would be possible solutions?

Collection points might be a solution, however these deliveries then have to be made to the collection point and we’re driving there to collect, so there will only be some alleviation.

How about this? If you could tick a box on your next online order that would say cost you an extra 50p or £1, which would pay for your order to be delivered by a ‘Deliveroo’ type service on a bike, would you consider that option? I think I would, particularly bearing in mind that the side effect of that could be that we contribute to keeping a person fit, therefore less likely to become a cost to the NHS…

And then there is of course the argument that we could re-purpose all those MAMILS* on a Saturday and keep them occupied….

Just saying …

*Middle Aged Men In Lycra

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