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The Case For Having Your Groceries Delivered

If, as a new study claims, they can be clustered along specific routes and set for certain times of the day, home deliveries are much more environmentally friendly than individual trips to the store.

What’s the Latest Development?


A study recently published in the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum claims that, far from being the lazy way out of shopping, grocery home delivery has the potential to impact the environment in a positive way. University of Washington professor and study co-author Anne Goodchild and her team compared typical methods of individual shopping to basically “[putting] groceries on the bus” and found that, in Seattle at least, home delivery was far more efficient and eco-friendly. In general, and accounting for variables such as store proximity, delivery trucks emitted between 20 and 75 percent less carbon dioxide than the equivalent numbers of cars driven to the store.

What’s the Big Idea?

Current home delivery services allow customers to choose when they’ll receive their groceries, a benefit that doesn’t coincide with efficiency. Rather, “if the delivery service can cluster people along routes…[these] can produce 90 percent less CO2 than a random route.” Goodchild also notes that people who are already environmentally- and community-minded are often more willing to accept deliveries at times that are less convenient. She says, “[T]hings that are green are a little more work…Maybe here’s something that takes less effort.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at NPR


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