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Q. Dear Umbra,
My husband and I make monthly trips to Target for family staples -- vacuum bags, dental floss, laundry detergent, etc. I loathe Target. Is there a good excuse, such as "it's better for the environment," to get such things sent to us from Amazon.com?
A. Dearest Heather,
Here we are, teetering on the brink of the annual holiday shopping frenzy. This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $586 billion, and retailers will make 20 to 40 percent of their annual sales. So your question is timely, though I assume you did not intend it as such. Unless of course you’re planning to give dental floss to your nearest and dearest.
Kudos to you and your husband for doing two smart things: You shop together, thus avoiding the wasteful Solo Car Trip, and you venture forth monthly for household supplies, instead of darting to the store as the floss runs out or the vacuum cleaner overflows. Bundling passengers and errands is efficient, and a good way to reduce your impact.
Would shopping online be even better? Yes. No. Maybe. The jury was out when I wrote about online shopping a few years ago (twice!), and it seems the jury has found a really good sandwich shop. This, it turns out, is a tough call.