By now, most consumers are no strangers to the fact that shopping increases their carbon footprint. What might not be as widely known are the different factors that affect the size of the footprint and the decision-making moments where they can alter it.

There’s a lot more to consider than merely the origin and the materials of the product. Think of buying new clothes: there are many different decisions you can make that can influence your carbon footprint. For example, the size of the footprint formed depends on the distance from where the product was shipped, what kinds of materials are used to pack the product, and whether or not the product is returned to the vendor after the purchase. 

That’s why providing consumers with transparent and easily understandable information on different shopping choices and their associated footprint is important. For example, when consumers are explicitly told that express delivery causes more emissions than regular delivery, some consumers may re-evaluate how much of a rush they’re really in. Or if they understand the carbon footprint of returning a dress, they may be less inclined to order five different models in different sizes – something which has been made way too easy. 

Learning from your individual consumption choices is the best way to adjust your lifestyle and habits. 

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