With the click of a button, our groceries, clothes, personal care products, household items — just about anything — could arrive on our doorsteps in a neatly packaged cardboard box. It’s convenience, delivered. But at what cost?

What happens behind-the-scenes to get a package delivered to your door is taking a toll on our planet and our health. Freight is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases and a major source of local air pollution. The rise in e-commerce is a growing part of increased pollution and poor air quality.

The truth is, “free shipping” isn’t really free. We’re just paying for it in other ways.

More packages means more trucks, more trucks means more pollution

If you were to ask someone what the No. 1 environmental issue facing e-commerce was, chances are they’d say packaging. This makes sense — boxes are piling up in landfills and they generate enormous amount of waste. But another equally as important issue is worsening air pollution caused by long-distance shipping and last-mile delivery moved by trucks. The problem is, air quality is a difficult issue to grasp given that it’s invisible to the eye. Nonetheless, it’s a growing challenge and it needs to be solved.

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