Many supermarkets in many countries now offer home delivery – here’s why it makes environmental sense
It might seem a bit decadent to have your shopping delivered to your front door, but in actual fact it’s a more sustainable way of doing your shopping than visiting the supermarket yourself, for several reasons.
In the UK, and across many other countries, the main supermarket chains offer online ordering and doorstep delivery services. Sometimes there is a small delivery charge, but even taking that into account you can be ‘greener’ AND save money because you are far more likely to be structured about planning your shopping and avoid impulse buying.
How does this help?
Switching to a shopping delivery service brings many advantages for the environment.
- Meal planning – when you make your order you will find yourself planning your week’s meals instead of just picking things up as you see them on the shelf. This leads to you buying only what you need, and only in the portion sizes you need, which reduces food waste. Food waste is a major problem – it is very damaging to the environment and unethical whilst people in other countries are hungry.
- Fewer vehicles on the road – the supermarket delivery van will make dozens of deliveries in one day. That means dozens of car trips to the shops are not required, saving fuel, carbon emissions, other pollution, traffic noise and stress.
- More than one trip saved – by planning your shopping when you make the order you are less likely to forget things and have to pop back to the shop multiple times, saving even more environmental damage from another car trip.
- Plastic packaging – by reducing food waste you will also be reducing your consumption of plastic packaging.
- Avoid impulse buying – impulse buying tends to be of non-essential luxury items that do the most damage and involve the worst plastic packaging, such as snacks sold at the tills and children’s sweets and treats.
- Healthier eating – again as a result of better meal planning, you are more likely to buy and eat healthier options, including less meat and more fruit and vegetables. All of this is good for you, of course, but it also reduces your carbon footprint.
- You can return packaging for recycling – the crates, boxes and even the plastic carrier bags that are used by the delivery services can be returned to the driver, ensuring re-use or proper recycling. Many of the supermarkets use a no-plastic-bag rule too, where everything comes in a crate which you unpack straight away and hand back to the driver
Benefits to you
As well as the environmental benefits, there are four advantages to you too …
- You’ll spend less – a result of meal planning and more structured buying
- You’ll save time – shopping can take a couple of hours or more
- Less stress – from traffic, crowds, queues, and the shopping itself
- Your health – planned, healthier eating is better for your and your family’s health and welfare
Visit your favourite supermarket’s website and check out what services they offer. Stop thinking of food delivery as a luxury but as a way to save money AND do some environmental good!