Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 9, 2010 04:33 PM
Online marketplace juggernaut eBay is launching a green shopping site and ad campaign. For the first 250,000 users who pledge to reuse on eBay, the company will preserve one acre of rainforest.
The mantra of the campaign's website professes that purchasing used is as beneficial to the environment – and as helpful – as recycling or conservation. Director of eBay’s green team, Amy Skoczlas Cole, comments, “Most people think you have to make a product in a certain way with a certain set of ingredients for it to be green. What we’re saying is you don’t have to make this new product at all."
Environmental experts agree that reusing products does have benefits. Not entirely altruistic, eBay has suffered from shrinking market share and a push for ecologically minded shoppers is a strategic move.
Items qualified as green by eBay might be pre-owned or recylced in some manner. The ad campaign will feature a five-page insert appearing in 15 Hearts magazines starting in April – to coincide with Earth Day. It showcases sustainable products in room displays. A sample tag: “Choosing a previously owned espresso machine saves 90% of the CO2 needed to produce a new one. So you get the jolt you need without compromising mankind."
The brand hired Cooler to calculate carbon conservation by purchasing used versus new. Included in those calculations are overall costs of designing new items, materials, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. For example, buying worn leather shoes saves the same amount of energy an average household consumes daily; a used watch equals 39 days of your refrigerator’s energy; and a used handbag – made of leather – equals the energy in a flight from Paris to London.
eBay is in partnership with Team Earth, a consortium of NGOs, individuals, and private companies assembled by Conservation International. According to Julie Blackwell, senior director, Team Earth, Conservation International. “eBay’s passionate community has changed the way we shop and we have no doubt that they can change the way we consume. They are a perfect partner to rally collective action around some of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.”