Increase in online shopping has negative impacts on environment, small businesses suffer

Caroline Barquin , Reporter

 Online shopping has become a craze because of the ability to purchase things from the comfort of your couch. But when we dig deeper, multitudes of issues are prevalent including the negative impacts on the environment, less connection with community, and fraud risks.

     There are 7.9 million global online retailers, they sell their products through ecommerce platforms or online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. Statistically anyone could be an online retailer, the ability to sell items online on platforms like Facebook marketplace or Poshmark has expanded and become a part of everyday life according to the Etailinsights website.

     If a small business wants to survive, they need to create a strong online presence to attract buyers and rethink the traditional approaches to business. All of these elements complicate the ability to survive in a harsh online world, this should not be the case. People are losing touch with the authenticity of products that small businesses produce hence the growth of large commercial companies. These companies are able to grow and adapt easier for the sheer number of employees and specialists.

     Shipping causes extreme harm on a majority of environmental components like air pollution, water pollution, and oil pollution. The increase in shipping has caused gases to trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming according to CNN.

     A solution to the environmental problems caused by shipping has been created but rarely used because of the higher price is called Green Shipping. This is done by the use of recycled boxes and envelopes, thermal label printers, and eco friendly products. Green shipping could be the answer for people who enjoy online shopping but also want to protect the environment.

     It is worth spending a few extra dollars to preserve the environment for future generations to cherish and enjoy. The economic component of online shopping is another contributing factor to suffering small businesses. Fast fashion uses cheap labor and cheap materials to create cheap products, low quality items are less expensive and faster to produce and creates competition for small businesses. A three-dollar cheap shirt from a commercial company is more appealing than a fifty-dollar high quality shirt from a local business.

     The expression of quality over quantity is apparent in this situation, people should want a high-quality item made from hard work over a fast fashion company that produces a million shirts in a minute. Small businesses are significantly more eco-friendly than large corporations.

     When shopping this holiday season let’s think of our community and environment by supporting local businesses. Gifts made by love are much more meaningful and memorable than ordering a last-minute gift online that has no meaning. When ordering online make sure to pick the most eco-friendly shipping option even if it costs a few extra dollars.