Online shopping may make our lives easier, but it is negatively impacting our environment | GBRI


Advocates of online shopping love to argue that it is a more sustainable option as it keeps a lot of cars off the roads. But what they conveniently forget is that it also adds a huge number of trucks that not just add up to the air pollution levels but also cause traffic congestion.

As writer Edward Humes says: “We create a truck trip each time we click that enticingly convenient “Buy” icon. And we click that button a lot. The old way of shopping lists and a single car trip to the mall or the market to make multiple purchases is fading away. Now we are lured by unlimited free shipping — and next-day and same-day delivery — to impulse-buy one item at a time, spread out over many days and many separate truck deliveries.”

This has caused a huge spike in deliveries in cities that were not designed for this. Professor José Holguín-Veras tells Humes that “If we all keep on buying as we are year after year, without regard to the impact, we are doomed.”

Humes also notes that the drivers of these trucks making deliveries often park illegally, which is a huge factor in traffic congestion. In fact, trucks, which represent 7% of total traffic, account for 28% of the nation’s congestion.

Read more here:

  • William Sundstrom  January 11, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Economic expansion boosts carbon emissions, despite green-tech gains

  • pete  January 11, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    website ‘’ tells it all as in CNN fake news – truck has 50 deliveries and travels 250 miles/day by contrast 50 vehicles travel 50 miles = 2,500 miles.
    Send the prof back to grade school he’s living in cloud cuckoo land. pete

  • Maston Stafford  January 11, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I think Edward Homes is being very “micro” thinking. These parcel companies all have the routes the trucks take are set in stone. They’re going to be on that same route everyday regardless of if we “Click Buy” or not.

    Remember the days when the postal service wasn’t a majority of physical “spam”? There were days when you might not have any mail put in your mailbox. Does that mean the mail truck didn’t drive that day? No!!!

    If he would look at the “macro”, the big picture, then he would realize he is completely wrong.


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