Comments on: True or false? Online shopping greener than the mall Global environmental challenges Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:14:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: usefulcommdev Sun, 03 Oct 2010 00:26:43 +0000 While the concept of a rebound effect is important and should be illustrated, the two specifics cited in this article seem to differ substantially in this way:

While I can’t really know about the environmental impacts of shipping a package from an online merchant to my home, I have a lot of say in how much my personal energy usage increases or decreases due to working from home.

The implied assumption that people who work at home live in sprawl-land and not in a fairly dense urban area may not be true. In fact, working from home is more convenient if one lives near coffee shops, business customers, libraries, and other places to either conduct business or get out of the house while still being productive. Taking a short walk in a real community also is beneficial to a home worker.

These features typically occurs not in sprawling subdivisions but in more urban parts of a region.

Secondly, energy usage may increase at home but driving may decrease, and there is also a lower energy consumption at some workplace. I’ve yet to see a workplace where people are as careful about turning out the lights and generally stretching the organization’s money as they are at home.

Thirdly, what if there is more than one home worker in a household? That’s not unusual these days. The marginal energy cost of the second worker may be negligible.

But my point is that the work at home situation all depends on the particular circumstances, and they are circumstances an individual can judge. So perhaps it’s less productive to research working at home than on-line shopping.