Online shopping may not be as green as we think

New York, Feb 6 (IANS) Who does not love to sit at home in sweatpants and shop online? But it may not be as environment friendly option as often people think, new research suggests.

Scientists have found that the total number of vehicles miles travelled has not decreased at all with the growth of online shopping.

Home shopping has a greater impact on the transportation sector than the public might think in a study published in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology.

Though it’s true that e-stores require less space and use less energy, online shopping puts more delivery trucks on the roads, which translates into more wear-and-tear on pavements and increased environmental pollution, said lead author Arde Faghri from University of Delaware in the US.

“We found that the total number of vehicles miles travelled has not decreased at all with the growth of online shopping,” Faghri added.

The study included data collection through a survey to identify shopping behaviour and summary of the survey results by product category, followed by simulation and analysis.

“The increase in online shopping also affects land use patterns such as the number and size of stores in large shopping malls with vast parking spaces, as well as changes in labour markets, with, for example, less demand for sales personnel and more for truck drivers,” Faghri explained.

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