Online Shopping vs. Driving to the Mall: The Greener Way to Buy


Photo credit: ishane

Shipping & transportation energy


1.57: Average passengers per automobile trip.
5,514: Average BTU per vehicle-mile in 2006.
3,512: Average BTU per passenger-mile in 2006.
23,260: Average BTU per vehicle mile for heavy trucks

1 gallon: Fuel consumed driving the average car 20 miles.
0.1 gallon: Fuel consumed shipping a two 20 pound packages 1,000 miles by truck.
0.6 gallons: Fuel consumed shipping two 20 pound packages 1,000 miles by air freight.

Sources: Center for Transportation Analysis, Center for Energy & Climate Solutions

Packaging and recycling


2.5: Times greater the environmental impact of packaging required in shopping (and shipping) online.
24 percent: Energy saved by recycling cardboard rather than using virgin fibers.
9 cubic yards: Landfill space saved by recycling 1 ton of cardboard.
6.6 million: BTUs saved by recycling 1 ton of cardboard; roughly equivalent to 390 kilowatt hours of energy and 1.1 barrels (or 46 gallons) of oil.

Sources: Carnegie Mellon University, Colorado Department of Labor
More 'This vs. That' green calculations
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Think Bottled Water is Bad, Could Bottled Orange Juice Be Even Worse?
Built In Dishwashers vs. Hand Washing: Which is Greener?
Is it Greener to Use a Roomba or an Upright?
Could I Reduce My Carbon Emissions by Moving South for the Winter?

Tags: Energy | Fuel Efficiency | Green Packaging | Public Transportation | Recycling