Online shopping is increasing dramatically. How could this trend affect our environment and the kinds of jobs required?
These days, the ubiquity of online shopping has had great impact on every aspects of our lives. Although there has been growing evidence of the adverse influence of online shopping on the environment, I agree that this way of shopping has given rise to certain types of jobs and the economic growth, which is a positive.
On the one hand, environmental destruction may stem from the proliferation of online shopping. First, since goods need to be delivered thousands of miles to reach customers, it is necessary that such goods are well-packaged, increasing the volume of trash significantly. In fact, almost goods shipped are packaged in one box, or even luxurious goods are protected in double-box packaging, which means that tones of plastic, cartons are used just for the protection of the goods and become useless afterwards. Second, transportation is a prerequisite to the shipping of goods purchased on the Internet, which means that online shopping has plagued the environment considerably by giving a rise to the emissions from transportation. For instance, some research has revealed that shipping accounted for around 30% of global emissions of carbon dioxide in 2019.
On the other hand, online purchases has made certain types of jobs increase in popularity and mitigated demand for some jobs as well. Firstly, in order to meet the increased demand of customers, big retailers, providers,etc., have employed numbers of people to work as shippers. This means that thanks to a large amount of work that does not require high skills or qualifications, many people will no longer unemployed. Secondly, buying goods in stores will eventually less prevalent due to the reality that people reap an array of benefits from shopping on the Internet. Recent surveys have found out that most people would opt to buy properties online rather than going to the supermarket.
In conclusion, online shopping has inflicted damage on the environment; nevertheless, it also offers numerous job opportunities. Besides, its impact should be closely monitored to facilitate a sustainable development.