What's better for the environment: driving from store to store to pick up all the stuff you need, or clicking from website to website and having everything shipped to you?

It depends.

Yeah, we know that's not very helpful. Unfortunately, the calculations get complicated. If you concentrate your personal driving so you visit just a handful of stores, and you live near the stores, and you drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, that may be greener than ordering products from many different online sellers and selecting the fastest possible delivery.

What if you change the variables so that you drive a lot of miles hopping from store to store in stop-and-go traffic looking for exactly what you want? Or you shop at just one online retailer and bundle the order so that all of your purchases can be shipped together? In either of those cases, online shopping may be more environmentally friendly.

Rapid delivery in particular can increase the carbon cost of shipping. The bigger the delivery vehicle and the fuller the load, the greater the efficiency. Next-day or same-day shipping requires lots of smaller vans rather than a few big trucks, and they have to hurry out of the warehouse without waiting for full loads.

These days, we all shop online as well as in person. You look for the best deals, of course. If you're reading this blog, then you also probably seek out ecommerce providers who share your own commitment to protecting the planet. Sourcing sustainably, reducing waste during manufacturing, reusing and recycling of packaging materials—those kinds of initiatives make you feel good about an online retailer.

And the shipping? Yes, it's complicated to figure out the greenest way to get your purchases to you. Cloverly exists to simplify that problem. Whether a retailer builds an ecommerce store on Shopify, Magento, or some other platform, we can give customers the possibility at checkout to choose to offset the carbon footprint of their shipping.

You can click here for an explanation of how using Cloverly can decrease emissions you're responsible for and support the growth of renewable energy. And, when an online retailer offers you the chance to green your shipping through Cloverly, you can click there, too, and take a step toward greater sustainability.