Biweekly Tip #8 on “Daily Living for a Healthy Climate”

Did you know that it is extremely inefficient and wasteful to return products, especially those ordered online?

According to an article in the Nov 2021 issue of The Atlantic, ‘Unhappy Returns’, “The average brick-and-mortar store has a return rate in the single digits, but online, the average rate is somewhere between 15 and 30 percent”, and “most people in the industry believe that 25 percent of returns are discarded”. This means lots of product going into landfills and incinerators, and more carbon emissions for making product that is not used, and for shipping items back and forth. Some consumers buy with the INTENT of returning, buying their most likely size and one smaller and one larger, and returning 2 of them, or buying multiple styles with the intent of returning most of them. Unfortunately, retailers have encouraged this behavior with liberal return policies.

Of course sometimes returns cannot be avoided. We suggest that everyone think critically about their choices and not “overbuy” with intent to return. Or, where fit is essential, consider shopping at a brick and mortar store with dressing rooms. For less expensive items, consider a direct donation instead of a return.

This is all food for thought in this season of shopping!!!