Environment + Climate

‘Climate Lab’ video series returns with examination of environmental impact of online shopping

The fast shipping shoppers have grown to love has a cost in terms of greenhouse gas emissions

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With the busy holiday shopping season in full swing, have you ever thought about the carbon footprint of where and how you shop? The latest episode of the “Climate Lab” video series — produced jointly by the University of California and the news site Vox — explores the answers to those questions.

The environmental cost of free two-day shipping” debuted today and it features transportation researchers at UC Davis and UC Riverside discussing how online shoppers can reduce their environmental footprint with minimal effort. It’s hosted by UCLA visiting researcher and conservation scientist M. Sanjayan.

The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability played a leading role in the development of “Climate Lab.” The series premiered in April 2017 and so far the first six episodes have been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube. Episodes can be found on UC’s “Climate Lab” website, along with infographics, quizzes and bonus content, and on Vox’s YouTube channel.

The series was created as a means for the public to learn more about how everyday decisions and actions affect climate change and simple solutions for positive impact. The premiere installment, “Why humans are so bad at thinking about climate change,” featured UCLA environmental economist Magali Delmas and the Engagement Project, which examined the most effective ways to encourage apartment users to reduce their energy use at home and the impact of “gamifying” energy savings.

Two additional episodes will follow in December and January, again featuring conversations with UC scientists, researchers and sustainability experts about everything from making environmentally friendly dietary choices to cutting down on packaging waste. 

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