Greens dump on eBay greenwashing

March 4, 2009

The New York Times reported this morning that,

In a new program centered on Earth Day, eBay is becoming the latest company to promote its green credentials…

Yes, said Alan Marks, senior vice president for global communications at eBay. Its business model encourages reselling old items rather than throwing them out, and buying used merchandise rather than making new stuff reduces carbon emissions that go along with production.

But the real greens weren’t fooled. Michael Brune of the Rainforest Action Network told the Times:

“A lot of the things sold on eBay are new merchandise, and last time I checked the Postal Service still used fossil fuels for all of their planes and their trucks, so it’s not sustainable,” he said, referring to how eBay sellers ship items. “It’s fair to say that buying used goods on eBay is better for the environment, but let’s not get carried away and say this is the greenest thing since recycled paper.”

EBay’s new green website is ebaygreenteam.com. It reads,

By giving used toasters and toys a longer life and keeping sweaters and cellphones out of landfills, they’re making a big difference for the planet.

Way to go Meg Whitman. Who wouldn’t want to help to sell America down the green river to keep sweaters and a cell phones out of landfills?

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