Green Online Shopping

Going green, Peachy, Wildlife — By Stephanie on July 10, 2009 at 6:21 am
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Green Online Shopping

You may already know that purchasing items through the Internet is more environmentally-friendly than going to a bricks and mortar store.  You’ll save gas and time, and cut down on middle-man transportation and shipping costs by staying at home.  Nonetheless, you may not be aware of some of the green online shopping sites that exist.

Shopping on the Internet can help you save green and go green at the same time!  Whether you are looking for eco-friendly items, or interested in purchasing pre-owned goods, let’s browse some of the possibilities.

Get your mouse ready to click!

Last week, we posted about thrift shopping at garage sales and Goodwill.  But did you know that you can actually look for treasures online?  That’s right, at, you can choose whether to have a bidding experience (a la eBay), or simply select “Buy Now” for many previously-owned treasures.  Because the inventory is always changing, its like a new treasure hunt each day.  What will you find?

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Shopping on the Internet for green products

For homeowners who believe in RRR (reduce, reuse recycle), you can engage in green home improvement at and demomlition depot.

Salvaged wood can be turned into beautiful flooring and an old mantelpiece may make a treasured conversation piece.  Just a few clicks, and green online shopping can beautify your home at a fraction of the environmental cost of traditional home improvement projects.

Looking for eco-friendly goods?  You can find bamboo, cork, recycled plastic and recycled glass turned into functional, unique items at several sites. is your location for recycled wine bottles.  Keep those containers out of the trash, and look what can be created!

As shown above, your bottled water containers can be transformed into chic outdoor furniture at  Enjoy nature in your backyard with extra satisfaction that you did a little green online shopping.

You may also want to check out the “green department store” that is  Eco-friendly materials like bamboo, cork and reclaimed materials comprise much of what you’ll see shopping on the Internet at the popular site.

C’mon… share some of your green online shopping secrets.  Where do you like to go when shopping online?

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  1. Jan Brockway says:

    Hi: just have to say something about online vs. brick & mortar shopping (re: your first paragraph). First, a disclaimer: I own a small shop called Pomegranate (in Bend), so of course, as an indie shop owner I would prefer people shop in person rather than over the internet. It’s the only way our unique, personal shops are going to stay in business… I cannot envision a landscape of only big box stores and an invisible internet presence as the only way to shop in the future. I like your blog, and I’m all into being green, so generally agree with many of your thoughts, but I just don’t think it’s true that internet shopping is always more environmentally friendly. Yes, there are a lot of good sites that sell recycled/used goods and there you’ll find things that you might not find driving around to twenty different stores.

    But let’s say you like a soy candle that we or another local shop carries. When we order, we order in bulk, as many as possible at one time to keep the per unit shipping costs down. Maybe we get 36 at a time: one box, with bulk packaging materials inside. Yes, there’s UPS delivery (fuel). But every bit of that packaging gets reused and recycled, even that pesky popcorn, which we save, bag up and give away on Craig’s List. If you buy one or two candles via a website, there’s still a UPS delivery to your home or business, but now it’s for just a small purchase. You still pay freight (in fact, quite often far higher charges than a store builds in), and you still have packaging materials, albeit in a smaller box. You may have saved some gas by not driving, but a delivery truck certainly negates the efficiencies.

    Now, if you don’t like your candle (or clothing, or whatever you’ve purchased without seeing, touching or trying), you’ll be putting it back in a box and sending it on a return trip via delivery truck. If you don’t like it in my store, you just put it back on the shelf and move on. Good thing is, quite a few of our customers are happy to carry their purchases out to their car without a bag, so we’re saving in that way, too.

    Oh, one more little thought. Let’s say the candle you like is not sold online by the manufacturer, but you buy it through or whatever. They have to order and stock it just like a brick & mortar, so they’ve received and paid for a delivery from the manufacturer, too. They then unpack it, put it in inventory, and then repack it in many smaller boxes to resend in ones or twos as people order online.

    It’s an interesting topic: would be good to see some actual comparisons and numbers. Thanks!

  2. Readers loved the design of the green shoebox I posted about last week. Online Shopping

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hey Jan,

    You make some really great points about bricks and mortar stores (which I do love browsing in person – esp Pomegranate!) It would be a shame if they all went away. I’ll give you guys huge kudos for your green, recycling practices. Keep up the great work, the wonderful store and thanks for stopping by with a comment, Steph

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