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The Eco-Friendliness of Online Grocery Shopping: Pros, Cons, and Sustainability Tips

Hello friends,

In recent years, ordering groceries online has become increasingly popular, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. While it certainly has its conveniences, you may be wondering about the environmental impact of ordering groceries online. In this blog post, we'll explore the eco-friendliness of online grocery shopping.

One of the main benefits of ordering groceries online is that it can help to reduce carbon emissions by cutting down on the number of individual trips to the grocery store. However, this depends on how the groceries are delivered. If the groceries are delivered by a personal vehicle, it can actually result in a higher carbon footprint compared to if everyone made their own trips to the grocery store. On the other hand, if the groceries are delivered by a fuel-efficient vehicle, such as an electric van or bike, it can be a more eco-friendly option.

Another environmental consideration is packaging. Online grocery delivery often involves a lot of packaging materials, such as plastic bags and cardboard boxes. However, some online grocery stores are starting to offer more eco-friendly packaging options, such as reusable bags and compostable containers.

Ordering from Coupang in korea you can opt for using the reusable "Fresh Bags".

When you order groceries from Coupang and choose same-day Rocket Fresh delivery, you get a choice of packaging: a normal cardboard box or a reusable, insulated Fresh Bag, which despite the name, looks like a 12-kilogram (26 pound) padded box. (source)

Korean online supermarket Market Kurly delivers the products in cardboard boxes. Better than plastic of course, but it still produces trash. Market Kurly's options of products is superior to the local marts, meaning they have food you can't get locally. They carry a lot of options for vegetables and cheese and ready-made meals like prepped salads and meal kits. If your diet is more on the vegetarian/vegan side, it might make it easier for you to buy groceries since Market Kurly has a lot of no-meat options available.

It is worth checking if your local grocerie store offers delivery. German grocery store REWE delivers the groceries using paper bags, which are easy to re-use the next time you go grocery shopping in-store. The delivery person also accepts your empty Leergut (the bottles and cans you paid a deposit for when buying), which would make your grocery trip easier if you don't have a car for example.

Additionally, ordering groceries online can help to reduce food waste by allowing consumers to more accurately plan and track their purchases. This can help to reduce the amount of food that ends up going to waste.

Oftentimes there is no real yes or no answer. The only fully eco-friendly way would be to farm your own produce and walk or bike to the grocery store with reusable bags. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make what we have work. And sometimes no option is more eco-friendly than the other.

But overall, whether online grocery shopping is eco-friendly or not depends on a number of factors, such as the delivery method and packaging materials. While it may not be a perfect solution, it can still be a more environmentally-friendly option than making individual trips to the grocery store.

As always, we encourage you to do your own research and make informed choices when it comes to your shopping habits. And we'd love to hear from you - do you think online grocery shopping is eco-friendly? Let us know in the comments!

Until next time, The ästrid. studio team

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