Shopping Locally can reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions

Friday, November 18, 2022

By Sarah Phillips

There is some good news on the Greenhouse gas emissions front. Technology is making cars and trucks that are much more efficient in terms of CO2 emissions. And electric cars and trucks are increasingly part of the vehicle picture. 

However, we are starting from a high level of emissions. In March 2022, 10,942 vehicles were registered in Lake Forest Park. That is about 1.04 vehicles for each resident 18 years old or older. Only about 500 of these vehicles (4%) are electric. On average, each fossil fuel-powered vehicle produces a little over 2 metric tons of Greenhouse Gasses in a year.

Here is what a metric ton of CO2 looks like:

Image from creative commons

As more people move to the Seattle area, greenhouse gas emissions due to transportation continue to increase. This is why it’s important to be mindful of the CO2 each fossil fuel-powered trip puts into the atmosphere. Is that trip worth the emissions it produces? Is there a way to reduce my own mileage and the mileage of trucks and other vehicles that bring things to me?

Of course, no one expects residents to stop all online ordering. However, it’s good to keep in mind that shopping locally this holiday season (and anytime!) is not only a win for our creative residents but at the same time, is a win for greenhouse emission reductions. And THAT is a win for everyone, because it reduces the rapid heating of the atmosphere we all depend on.

If you are interested in local climate issues, please take the Lake Forest Park Climate Action Committee survey .


Carolyn Armanini,  November 19, 2022 at 11:24 AM  

Let me start by saying I fully support shopping locally. I do, however, have a question about the argument that it is necessarily more climate-friendly than ordering online. Those UPS, FedEx, and USPS trucks are already warmed up and traveling around our neighborhoods. It strikes me that having some things delivered to our homes is more climate-friendly than getting into our vehicles and driving to our local businesses. Am I missing something?

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