If you have recently decided to switch to organic foods, you may want to consider the convenience of ordering over the internet. Many organic food stores online offer a great selection and some retailers help you find the best price too. In addition, buying online reduces your carbon footprint.
Benefits of Buying Organic Food Online
Obviously, it is infinitely easier to point and click your way to full grocery cart and check out online. This is especially true for those who do not have an organic grocery store nearby. Buying online also makes it easier to comparison shop whether you seek the best price or the best quality. You may be tempted to order from more than one vendor to complete your grocery list, but you should try keeping your purchases under one vendor to save environmental resources.
Purchasing groceries online can save you money if you have been buying your foods from the organic section of a traditional grocer. These stores charge more than the ones that specialize in organically grown and produced foods.
The Essence of Organic Shopping
To understand why, consider the cost of shipping items from a factory, to a warehouse and then to a store. Then consider the energy used in running the store, the bright display lights, the freezers. When food items are not sold, they often go straight to the trash. In addition, online retailers do not need cashiers, managers and security who would otherwise drive to work, putting out carbon emissions.
Internet retailers are selling to a much bigger population. The law of large numbers, a statistical rule, says that the larger a population, the more accurate predictions about that population will be. This means retailers selling to larger populations are better able to predict demand. They produce less overstock and less waste.
Foods arrive in containers made of polystyrene, a type of lightweight foam plastic. These containers are durable and can be repurposed or recycled. When you buy groceries every week, these containers may pile up. For this reason, it is a good idea to check with your local recycling center and be sure they will take and recycle these containers before you order refrigerated items online.
Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate the packaging of merchandise in shopping online. The good news is that the energy in producing and recycling the packaging is much less than that needed to run traditional brick and mortar stores.
Where to Buy Organic Food Online
Organic foods are expensive, so you want to be sure you get what you pay for. It can be hard for someone just starting out to know what store to trust. You may be pleased to find out that you are probably already shopping at an excellent organic grocer. It is Amazon.com.
Besides selling myriad books, gifts and electronics, Amazon sells all kinds of food, including organic. This is perfect because you already know the website; it is incredibly easy to navigate and lets you choose the best price. On the down side, you may be ordering from several vendors through Amazon, extra packaging and transportation emissions. You can avoid this by looking at the name of the seller and choosing the same one as often as possible.
Greenshopper.com is another source for organic groceries that uses the ease of Amazon checkout. The selection may not be as good as some other retailers, but the company is environmentally friendly and donates to charity.
Diamond Organics is an online organic food retailer offering an enormous selection of locally grown and produced California foods. They ship overnight to any location in the continental United States and have just about any organic food you can imagine.
The Organic Mall
The Organic Mall is a good place to look around for harder to find organics along with everyday groceries. They even sell organic clothing, fabrics, cleaning supplies, pet food and medicine. The mall donates a percentage of the profits to the Cancer Society, Feed the Homeless, Greenpeace, Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, Missing Children and many others.
Organic Kingdom, in business since 2000, is a Utah company that ships groceries internationally. They carry 3900 organic food and related items. They sell organic groceries, supplements and beauty products. The company maintains a strict selection process ensuring they offer only the best organic items from local farms.
Think Before you Buy
When buying organic food online, it is important to reduce the environmental cost as much as possible. Even though it is usually more efficient and environmentally friendly to buy online, your situation may be different. First, consider if there is a store or local grower within walking distance. If so, get a cart and walk. If an organic store is only a short drive away, either option may be okay.
To minimize the impact of your shopping, be sure to choose sensible shipping options. For instance, if the post office comes to your house every day anyway, choose that option. If you are rural and only get UPS every day, use them. Think before you buy, and do the best that you can to foster a more sustainable world.