The holidays mean Black Friday madness and a Cyber Monday frenzy. But the holiday shopping - and shipping - will be going on all month.
After snatching that deal of the century on that perfect gift for mom, you might be tempted to click on free two-day shipping. But there's an environmental cost to getting your orders faster, according to new research out of UCLA.
"As we've gone to wanting more things instantaneously, we've lost some of the advantages of consolidation and planning," says Jon Christensen, professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Generally, two-day shipping means:
More packaging for individual items as opposed to a consolidated box
More trucks on the road that are less filled than they typically would have been
More returns from customers that may double the carbon footprint per-item
"Just by waiting and choosing the standard shipping option," says Christensen, "you could reduce your carbon footprint dramatically."
Speedy shipping during the holiday season is the subject of the latest "Climate Lab" video, a collaboration between the University of California and the news site Vox.
To learn more about how an everyday consumer can reduce the environmental impact of holiday shopping, click on the blue media player above. Read more about the negative consequences, of e-commerce, including traffic and air pollution, click here.