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Living Less Unsustainably: Delivery

John Fischer
KLCC's John Fischer says getting things delivered to your home is usually more efficient than driving to the store and getting it yourself.

Hi All, Climate Master John Fischer here with KLCC's Living Less Unsustainably. I like it when my assumptions turn out to be wrong. It's a good reminder to keep learning and exploring. Here's the one that surprised me until I looked more deeply. Getting things delivered to your home is usually more efficient than driving to the store and getting it yourself. Food, clothing, toys - almost everything.

Here are two examples that might convince you- like they did me. The garbage truck, or the mail truck comes to each house. That's far more efficient than each of us driving to the dump or the post office.

When you choose delivery, you become one stop on a carefully - efficiently - plotted route. There are a lot of ifs and buts in the efficient delivery equation.

The longer you can wait, the more efficiently the delivery company can route your drop. Overnight might be acceptable for a lifesaving medication, but for a video game, or a pair of shoes, a few extra days won't hurt, and will reduce fuel consumption.

Of course the stuff itself is a big climate-changer. Do you really need that third fancy corkscrew? Yes- packaging is a problem. Fortunately, cardboard does recycle easily, and locally. And it gets picked up from each house by a recycling truck - keep it clean so it can be used again and again. Biking or walking to the store is a much better option than taking a two-ton vehicle five miles to get a few pounds of groceries. And some of the major delivery companies have committed to all electric vehicles

But the store itself is often an inefficient box. A warehouse does not need to have goods attractively displayed. Refrigerated items won't be stored next to cereal boxes. Less in person shopping would reduce the size of parking lots.

John Fischer is a Master Gardener and Master Recycler and the host of KLCC's Good Gardening and Living Less Unsustainably.