If you think shopping online is more eco-friendly than driving to a store, think again.

It may sound counterintuitive, but the more eco-conscious way to shop is going to a physical store rather than by making purchases online from companies that don’t have physical stores, according to a new report Tuesday in Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.

In the study, researchers estimated that shopping at brick-and-mortar stores for frequently bought items such as toilet paper, shampoo and toothpaste, often results in less greenhouse gas emissions than ordering the products from a company that only sells through the internet.

The main reason is because of how people shop online: Many buy items online frequently — but they only buy a few items per purchase.
“When they shop in a store, they aggregate these purchases in a single bulk purchase,” noted Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student in Environmental Science at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He’s one of six researchers who worked on the year-and-a-half long study.
Read more at CNN