Green eBay

As any online shopping enthusiast might tell you, there’s nothing quite like running for the mailbox Katrina-and-the-Waves-style and tearing open that package whose contents you’ve been, shall we say, quite eagerly anticipating. Ebay has forever been the face of the virtual marketplace, but what you might not know is that they have recently launched their very own green offshoot. Turns out the world’s largest hub for used, refurbished and vintage goods – and the team behind the scenes – are green in so many more ways than we first thought.

Green eBay is both a resource for helping users make better decisions when it comes to filling up that bottomless shopping cart, as well as a huge market for all kinds of eco products – run just like regular eBay. Spearheaded by the aptly-named Green Team (a collective of more than 300,000 eBay employees all over the world who have been busy dreaming up new ways to make their workplace more environmentally- and socially-conscious), Green eBay is growing in leaps and bounds. As well as committing to sustainable business practices, volunteering in their local communities and supporting positive environmental legislation, the Green Team are also behind eBay’s reusable box initiative. In 2011 they helped send out more than 100,000 recyclable boxes, specially designed to be used again and again by buyers and sellers. So the packaging around that much-anticipated retro dress can be just as recycled as what’s inside!

Fighting the battle against e-waste, the eBay Instant Sale program makes it easier to recycle electronics, while eBay’s own Zero Waste program and LEED-certified data centres are helping lighten the company’s environmental footprint. These may only be small steps for a giant corporation like eBay, but it does go to show how a handful of determined individuals can achieve real change. Now let’s hope other companies – online or otherwise – take inspiration from this move and quickly follow suit!