Student’s Corner

Opting for In-Store Pick-Up

With many stores and restaurants closed during the beginning of COVID-19, many of us resorted to the convenience of online shopping and fast shipping if we weren’t already doing so before. While this may still be the norm for some stores, more businesses are allowing customers to order online and pick up in store. This got me thinking, “is it better to pick up my purchases or have my order shipped to my house?”

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, containers and packaging make up a major portion, 29.9%, of municipal solid waste. In 2017, 80.1 million tons of this type of waste was generated and while most of it was recyclable, 32,130 tons ended up in landfills. This is a lot of waste that can be greatly reduced if we were to properly recycle or advocate for more efficient and eco-friendly packaging.

Carbon dioxide emissions are produced when we physically go to purchase and/or pick up our purchases. However, delivery trucks also release emissions. Although there is no guarantee that one method is more environmentally friendly than the other, it can be argued that picking up your order in-store is more efficient. I prefer to pick up my orders, but this is a personal preference. Firstly, you can receive your order almost instantaneously as many businesses offer same day pick up. Also, you can check your order at the store in case there were any mistakes. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you make your next purchase:

  • Instead of purchasing an item right away, try to wait and purchase a larger order
  • Limit the number of stores you go to
  • Ask a neighbor if you can help them pick up their order
  • Reuse, repurpose, and/or recycle packaging materials

Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022. 

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