We all know that online shopping saves us a lot of time where buying a new pair of shoes is just one click away!

However, the bad ecological effects of online shopping are not so often acknowledged. Some of us believe, that by shopping on the internet it saves the planet from cars emitting carbon dioxide, but the reality is that that is not the case because for every product that a consumer purchases the likelihood of them returning the item can increase the amount of carbon emissions to transport it back. In a scientific experiment by Shopping Center Today Magazine, scientists tracked the amount of fuel needed to ship the goods, the amount of energy consumed by the data centers and other electronics, the required packaging, and the fuel consumed to return the items.

  • “By the researchers’ calculations, the environmental impact in greenhouse gas-emissions of purchasing the same goods online 10,714 total grams of carbon emissions, whereas at the mall it would cost 10,205 grams.”
    • (Source: Shopping Centers Today Magazine, June 2016, p.33-35).
  • “Internet shopping turns out to be less efficient, according to the report, in part because shoppers typically return on average, some 33 percent of online purchases, versus 7 percent of returned items that were bought at malls.”
    • (Source: SCT Magazine).

Bottom line, while online shopping provides consumers more variety, nothing beats the hands-on experience that shopping malls have. The experience of shopping inside a mall presents consumers the ability to physically engage with their desired merchandise.