- Buy local. If possible, purchase products online from a store thatís located near your recipient to prevent the need for long-distance shipping.
- Prepare your packages early enough so that you can send by ground rather than air; ground shipping is more efficient than air freight.
- Operator selection: Chose a shipping company that operates in an environmentally preferable way. FedEx operates a fleet of 93 hybrid trucks in 12 cities, while UPS has purchased 50 hybrid-electric trucks. Of course, you canít be sure that your particular package is being shipped by one of the hybrid trucks, but at least youíre giving business to companies that are working towards sustainability.
- If you are shipping within a city, consider using a courier service that uses bicycles.
- Carbon Offsets: Check to see if the retailer you are purchasing from offers carbon offsets for shipping, which many now do. Unfortunately, if the retailer does not have this option, there is no carbon calculator for individuals to estimate the carbon created from the shipment of their products, but you can create some offsets of your own. Be green in a way that you wouldnít have otherwise: Commit to biking somewhere X number of times, buy a local product even though you were going to buy an imported product, or finally switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Although these carbon offsets can not be accurately calculated, itís good a good frame of mind to get into!