The covid crisis has grown community spirit and made people care more about their local areas, according to new research.
The findings are from a survey commissioned by outdoor parcel locker firm InPost, whose three Swindon branches are at the Morrisons supermarkets in Dorcan and Thames Avenue and the BP petrol station in Cricklade Road.
A total of 34 percent of consumers in the South West were found to care more about their local areas, with 41 percent saying they now thought about the impact of environmental issues on those communities rather than just globally.
Jason Tavaria, CEO of InPost UK, said: “It’s really encouraging to see an increased sense of community spirit and a nod towards more environmentally friendly behaviour.
"In many places not knowing who your neighbours are, let alone their names or shopping habits is the norm, but it appears that lockdown has changed more than we think.
"It has presented us all with an opportunity to really consider how they want to live and work and support others, whilst heightening awareness of the impact of quieter roads and improved air quality.
"Making it easier for communities to engage in more sustainable activities is essential – especially whilst they’re more open to it. We’ve seen a three-fold increase in usage of our 24/7 outdoor parcel lockers during lockdown – with the contact-free feature being a large attractor.”
The company says that with locker delivery, a courier can drop more than 50 parcels in one stop, versus 50 stops criss-crossing residential streets to make home deliveries. This results in vans spending less time on roads and creating two-thirds less in CO2 emissions compared to home deliveries, as well as reducing congestion and improving air quality in cities.
Mr Tavaria said: “Online shopping is increasing in popularity, but so too are returns. Consumers need to be aware of the impact of their online shopping habits and the effect it has on the environment.
"Parcel lockers can have a significant impact on carbon emissions and are ideal for savvy online shoppers looking for a sustainable and convenient delivery option when buying online.”
Key findings of the survey were:
- 43 percent said they had gone out of their way to help neighbours and get to know them better.
- 43 percent said they had been going out of their way to make their community safer - for example, by ensuring people were not exposed to coronavirus.
- 39 percent said they were now more invested in protecting their local community from environmental issues.
- Over half (56 percent) said they wanted to help their local community to be more sustainable - for example by reducing pollution and plastic waste.
- 51 percent agreed that lockdown increased awareness of vulnerabilities within their communities.
- 52 percent said they had shopped more locally during the pandemic and 64 percent intended to keep doing so.
- Just over half (52 percent) said they had been trying to support independent businesses more during the pandemic, and 65 percent said that they would continue doing so.
More information about InPost can be found at https://www.inpostdirect.co.uk/our-services