By mid-April, roughly a month after the World Health Organization had officially declared COVID19 a global pandemic, Amazon reportedly hired an additional 175,000 employees to help deliver on a surging demand of online orders. This employment boom indicates that, unlike other industries, the eCommerce industry did not experience economic pain as a result of the pandemic, but quite the opposite.

This increase in online ordering created both a packaging graveyard bursting with delivery materials and a massive influx in carbon emissions resulting from transporting goods from point A to B. With this massive increase in online ordering occurring we find ourselves asking what’s the real cost of convenience for door-step delivery?

For those curious about the impacts COVID19 has had on online shopping, Amazon’s recent earnings report paints a descriptive picture of what the current consumer landscape looks like. According to a recent Forbes article, the online mega-marketplace founded by Jeff Bezos (who recently earned the title of the world’s richest person thanks to his booming Amazon empire) experienced a $570 billion boost to its market capitalization from January 2020 to the end of July 2020. At a current valuation of $1.59 trillion, Amazon’s drastic growth in 2020 has made it into the world’s third-largest company, behind Apple and Microsoft.

The immense rise in Amazon’s market valuation directly correlated with the rise of the lockdown shopper – a conscious consumer abiding by the expectations to #stayhome and #staysafe in order to #stopthespread of COVID19. The lockdown shopper became increasingly reliant on eCommerce platforms for their purchasing needs, which spurred growth in online sales across a wide range of industries as indicated by a recent McKinsey and Company report.

This reliance developed out of necessity at the onset of the pandemic, however, months later, consumers have now become partial to the convenience of door-step delivery, creating new habits that are predicted to persist past the pandemic.

According to a Fast Company article, in 2017 alone, over 165 billion packages were shipped in the United States, a figure equivalent to 1 billion trees. With this analysis coming from 2017 when a pandemic wasn’t running ramped around the world creating a surge in online ordering, it’s safe to suggest that the number of shipped packages has vastly grown, further increasing the costly environmental impacts associated with delivery.

So how do eCommerce business owners continue to serve their customers while ensuring that they’re offsetting the carbon emissions produced by packaging and shipping? The team here at TreeEra has come up with a solution: The 1:Tree Program. It allows entrepreneurs the freedom to continue delivering their groceries, cosmetics, shaving kits, candles, board games, and any other items heading into their customer’s online shopping carts without the associated guilt of worsening the climate crisis. Any business with a Shopify eCommerce platform can partner with TreeEra through 1:Tree, which plants one tree for every package shipped.

Are you wanting to be proactive about your online shopping practices? We also offer monthly subscriptions where trees are continually planted on your behalf and a Tree Certified Program that includes custom initiatives tailored to your business to offset specific causes, for example paper waste. Climate change is complicated, your contribution to fighting it doesn’t have to be.