This is exciting. I’d wondered if this was the case, as I order a lot of stuff via the mail instead of driving to go get it and was doing some back of the envelope calculations with friends about that. I’d love to order groceries online, rather than go get them. I’d be a lot more disciplined about what I got. I say this as someone who make the classic rookie mistake of going shopping while hungry this weekend.
“what engineers Erica Wygonik and Anne Goodchild did in their paper (pdf) was to take a look at the actual stores and homes around Seattle and simulate thousands of deliveries and grocery runs around the city. They then analyzed a random sample of those runs.
They found that delivery trucks bringing groceries to people’s doorsteps emitted between 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide per customer, on average, than having all those people drive their cars from home to the store and back again.”
(Via Study: Ordering groceries online is greener than driving to the store.)