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Sustainable online shopping tips

Sustainable online shopping - 10 tips for greener orders

How can you actually store sustainably online and order in the most environmentally friendly way possible? Of course, the most sustainable product is the one that you don't buy in the first place. And before buying a new one, you should first repair the old one and use it for as long as possible. reuse. However, online purchases cannot always be avoided. Sometimes there is a lack of time, you are in poor health or simply don't feel like making the trip to the nearest store. Whether consciously or unconsciously - in the end, CO2 that the global warming intensified.

To ensure that your purchases are still as environmentally friendly as possible despite delivery by post, here are some tips for sustainable online shopping. Let's go!

10 tips for sustainable online shopping

In our grandparents' day, orders could only be placed using an extra form from a fat catalog. Today, it's all much easier - and that causes problems for the environment. In addition to the delivery of goods, the electricity for your own computer and for the servers that ensure the maintenance of data on the Internet is of course also very energy-intensive.

1. buy from sustainable online stores

A good example of one of the many sustainable online stores is AvocadoStore*! The people of Hamburg pay particular attention to packaging that is as plastic-free as possible, environmentally friendly shipping and fair products. The latter range from sustainable clothingfrom kitchen utensils to sports equipment. There really is everything. And the entire company philosophy is geared towards sustainability.

Tips: If you like to use a search engine to find suitable products, you should use a sustainable search engine that you will use in the future. With search queries at For example, trees are planted and cool projects are supported.

2. only buy things that you really need

Live minimalistdoes not mean giving up everything. It means giving up the things you don't need. That's a good thing, don't you think? After all you save money sustainably.

So if you want to store sustainably online, that also means, to question your shopping cart again before clicking the "order now" button. Do I really need it? Or is it more of an impulse buy that won't really enrich me? An honest answer to this question will often mean that you can save money for the really nice things in life.

3. avoid plastic packaging

Everyone knows them: the orders on the internet that arrive at home in boxes that are far too big and contain far too much polystyrene and air cushion padding. Then there's a quick grumble and then the same mistake is made again and again.

To avoid future orders with too much Avoid plastic waste, you can, for example, make collective orders and do not order every little product individually week after week. This is also part of sustainable shopping on the internet. In addition, there are more and more providers who deliberately ship their sales plastic-free and as waste-free as possible.

Tip: If you have received a box, try to reuse it if possible. If you no longer need it, fold it up and dispose of it in the blue garbage can. (see Separate waste correctly)

4. avoid returns already in advance

In the German online retail sector, a total of 487 million items ₁ This means a lot of double trips and unnecessarily used packaging material. However, double CO2 emissions are anything but appropriate in times of climate change.

So if you want to shop sustainably online, you should consciously prevent returns. When shopping for clothes, for example, take measurements and read the notes on sizes. Clothes in particular often vary in size and are therefore often returned. Don't be afraid to simply ask the online store before you place your order.

You can find even more tips in the detailed article called Avoid returns.

5. have delivered to packing station or parcel store

Sustainable online ordering tips - Postbox

If you want to order sustainably online, it is also worth delivering to a parcel store near your home. As parcel service providers can drop off many shipments there at once, they save themselves the trip to each individual address. This allows them to work more efficiently and in a more climate-friendly way.

Positive side effect: This is also good for all drivers in your street, as there won't always be vans with flashing warning lights in the second row.

6. one large order instead of many small ones

As already mentioned, it is worthwhile for our environment if you place bulk orders. In other words, collect a few things that you need before you order them all individually. This way, as many of them as possible can find their way to you in one box and in just one delivery.

It also makes sense to order bulk packs. Whether online or in your local shop - for example, if you know that you need more oat flakes anyway and they don't go bad so quickly, you can also order a larger pack.

Tip: In a separate article, you will find countless tips on how to improve your To preserve food for longer!

7. avoid Amazon orders if possible

When people think of online shopping, they usually think directly of Amazon. Of course, this is not sustainable online shopping with such a global e-commerce giant. After all, many small bookstores and other stores cannot compete with it.

If you want to order there, you should at least use the URL go to the store. The company will then donate at least 0.5 percent of your purchase amount to a charity of your choice.

8. buy items used on the internet

To avoid wasting natural resources unnecessarily on your online purchases, in many cases you can simply buy them second-hand. This works very well for books, for example - and even clothes that have been sorted out but are still intact can bring a smile to other people's faces. (see also Slow Fashion)

A good place to go for used items, for example, is the online store of rebuy*. And the app is suitable for garments Kleiderkreisel!

9. make sure the delivery is CO2 neutral

Many delivery services already operate CO2-neutral - but the online store of your choice has to play along and cooperate with them. DPD, for example, delivers goods in a climate-neutral manner without charging a surcharge. DHL also delivers in an environmentally friendly way - so when you place your order, make sure that the online store cooperates with DHL GoGreen, for example.

Also, do not choose express delivery for your online orders if it is not absolutely necessary. This is because larger orders are often split into several and this leads to multiple and, above all, underutilized courier trips.

Tip: To avoid unnecessarily long transportation routes, you should also make sure that your orders come from the region. Then they can possibly be delivered to you by courier bike. (see also buy regionally)

10. if new purchase - then durable products

Please do not use your online purchases to support the Fast fashion industrywhich causes massive suffering and extreme environmental pollution. Instead, make sure that you only order goods online that are really durable. A T-shirt for 5 euros can't be sustainable because someone has to sew it together for a few cents! And the shirt is usually washed out after just a few weeks, so you have to buy a new one. So when ordering online, it's better to go for quality - whether it's clothing, sports equipment or Wooden toothbrushes.

Do you have any other tips for sustainable online shopping? Then just write me a comment with your ideas.

Sustainable online ordering is possible

Environmentally friendly shopping on the Internet

I hope you were able to take away some ideas and tips for shopping sustainably online in the future. At least more sustainable. Because as I said, the most sustainable product is the one that isn't bought in the first place. Just try to take these tips to heart for your next online orders. Because they are really simple and can be implemented immediately.

Do you have questions or your own experiences with sustainable online shopping? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Look you with pleasure still something in the Consumption Blog around! There you will learn for example a few know superfluous things that nobody needs these days.

₁ German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE): Avoiding returns, available at[22.01.2020].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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