Want to do your part to save the environment? Buy a leather handbag.
That is the message eBay is pushing with a new green shopping site and ad campaign.
On the site, green.ebay.com, and in the ads, eBay makes the case that buying something used is as environmentally correct as conservation and recycling.
“Most people think you have to make a product in a certain way with a certain set of ingredients for it to be green,” said Amy Skoczlas Cole, director of eBay’s green team. “What we’re saying is you don’t have to make this new product at all.”
It is nothing new for companies to pick something they already do — selling used products, in eBay’s case — and “rewrap it in nice green marketing,” said Casey Harrell, who analyzes the information technology sector at Greenpeace.
Call it greenwashing or not, but Greenpeace has found in its research that reusing products has environmental benefits, he said.
“Does this pass the laugh test? I think it can,” he said.
EBay, which is recovering from several unprofitable quarters and facing dwindling market share, has been recasting the site to make it more attractive to new kinds of shoppers — and make it feel less like shopping an Excel spreadsheet. It unveiled a new apparel hub for fashion lovers last month, and now it is going after conservation-minded shoppers.
Its green hub, at green.ebay.com, collects items for sale on the site that eBay qualifies as green. They could be preowned or sustainable, such as a US$34 cobalt blue vase made of recycled glass from a seller in Virginia or resource-saving, like a US$14.95 stainless steel water bottle from a seller in California.
The green site displays photo shoots by eBay showing the products in a room — a shot of a kitchen, for instance, filled with products for sale.
The ads will appear in next month’s editions of all 15 Hearst magazines, including Good Housekeeping and Popular Mechanics.
“Choosing a previously owned espresso machine saves 90 percent of the CO² needed to produce a new one. So you get the jolt you need without compromising mankind,” one ad says.
EBay hired Cooler, a company that calculates carbon footprints, to determine how much carbon shoppers save by buying something used instead of new. They say that the leather handbag, for example, saves as much energy as a flight from London to Paris.
Cooler calculated the total cost of creating a new item, including materials and manufacturing, and factored in the cost of packaging and shipping eBay items via fuel-guzzling planes or cars, Skoczlas Cole said.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts