With the advent of internet shopping in the 1990s people can now, for the first time, sit in the comfort of their own home and shop for anything.  Once, the things they needed to go out and buy, they can now have dropped at their doorstep.  What a convenience!

It took a long time to for online shopping to catch on.  The online shopping market has been steadily growing, though.  It has seen some huge jumps in revenue since the year 2000, especially.  There is a generation coming of age that has a unique combination of knowledge of the internet and the trust to actually enter their credit card  on a website and feel safe doing so.

Consumers that are comfortable buying over the internet are just starting to come to the age where they are making salaries to afford to buy things.  The generation that has been in college for the past 10 to 20 years is now coming of age. They are now starting families, earning good salaries, and spending money for the first time, online.  College kids don’t have money for anything but food, books, and beer.  Now, these former web kids are buying homes.

Now that we’ve established there is an unstoppable freight train headed our way that called “The Online Shopping Express”, what are we going to do about it?

How is Online Shopping Linked to the Environment?

There’s another movement that has been going on simultaneously with the online shopping surge, the Green Movement.  The push for renewable energy, recycling, and eating cleaner food is undeniable.  Let’s talk about one part of this: recycling.

Recycling is going to be a huge factor with the rise in online shopping.  Why? All of this online shopping produces more boxes in one’s home.  It’s true.  Everything comes in a box when you buy it online.  Doesn’t it?  And even though a lot of things are packaged in the manufacturer’s box, already, they are put in a plain, brown packing box to conceal the box and prevent damage during shipping.

With more households regularly buying items online on a monthly and, even, a weekly basis, it is without saying that we are going to have a lot of cardboard boxes around.  People need to do is make a concerted effort to recycle them.

Recycling is still catching up to society, unfortunately.  Not all towns have it available.  We all need to be recycling, though.  There are no excuses any more.  Especially with all of the cardboard we are using today and will continue to use as online shopping grows, we need to properly dispose of these items.

It’s amazing how much you can recycle when you think about it.  Even without online shopping, most of us under-recycle.  It’s all because of people’s resistance to change.  We’re used to seeing a bunch of trash barrels sitting together (1980s).  Then, we brought in the new guy, the recycling barrel (1990s).  Today, the average family has multiple trash barrels sitting next to a recycling barrel.

Now, we make to make a new surge to have multiple recycling barrels and one trash barrel.  We’ve got to!  It’s the only thing that will keep landfills to a minimum.

I just ordered my second recycling barrel from my town the other day and I’m proud to say I’m going to have two recycling barrels and one trash barrel.  It’s a small step for mankind but a giant step for my part in preserving the planet.  Our way of shopping is changing.  We must change with it.

Patrick Torres is a from CostOwl.com writing about online shopping, home and garden, and the environment.


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