Shop Etsy

Etsy Celebrates Earth Day

Apr 22, 2013

by Katie Hunt-Morr

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

What happened to Earth Day? In the 43 years since its inception, the movement has deteriorated from one that drove some of the most significant environmental legislation in US history, to yet another platform for corporate marketing. It is hard not to be jaded in an era fraught with greenwashing where seemingly every company on earth touts their eco efforts, large and small, substantial and empty.

But let’s remember that the first Earth Day was not a ploy for publicity, or derived to sell faux “green” merchandise. It was a rallying cry felt across political parties, generations, and demographics, a cry to protect our natural environment with substantial action. The first Earth Day instigated the Clean Air Act of 1970, the Clean Water Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s time to take it back!

It is in the original spirit of Earth Day that we want to celebrate by publicly sharing Etsy’s ecological impact reduction goals and our commitment to the planet. From our calculations, we have set aggressive reduction goals, but this is important. By publishing them we are putting ourselves on the hook to deliver.

etsy_earth_days

Our commitment: Etsy is committed to proactively countering the planet’s gathering ecological crises.  Etsy embraces our responsibility to minimize the ecological footprint of our operations and our duty to empower and incentivise the users of our platform to do the same.

With these imperatives in mind, we have started the long journey to analyze the complete impact of our business operations. We have largely captured the current impact of our office facilities and data centers. We recognize, however, that the impact of Etsy includes much more than our company operations. As we emphasize every day in the office — Etsy’s success is built on the businesses of our sellers, and that includes their ecological impact.

We are starting to assess the impact of our marketplace, starting with the shipping of goods purchased on Etsy. We are also measuring our operational supply chain, employee commuting, and business travel, because we need to be complete. We don’t want to cop-out with so much at stake. Etsy is a unique company and, we believe, proof that commerce can be lastingly fulfilling and sustainable.

We don’t want to be alone in this. Every business, and individual can contribute to driving the significant reform we need — as did the original Earth Day.

So what can you do?

  • Transform your personal impact at Practically Green.
  • Switch to using renewable energy at home in just 5 minutes.
  • If your company isn’t earnestly measuring and lowering their impact, force the issue!  Let management know that companies with strong sustainability programs have 43% more efficient business operations, 43% stronger public image, 55% better morale, and 38% higher employee loyalty than those who don’t. (Sources: Practically Green, Society for Human Resource Management, and  “The 5 Traits of Firms that Create Sustainability ROI,” Harvard Business School, 2012)

We want to share all of our ecological work. If your business could benefit from our assessment methodology or improvement strategies, please get in touch.

34 comments

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  • SoulRole

    Nancy Campbell from SoulRole said 6 years ago

    I appreciate the dedication Etsy shows towards improving its impact on the environment.I live in Hawaii completely off the grid.We use a combination of solar,wind and gas generator and our water is supplied by a fresh water spring.It is almost a full time job some days just to keep the power on and the water flowing and it presents many challenges for my business(I can only use my iron if the generator is on for example so I have to time everything just right so I can iron when we NEED to run the generator and save gas.).Some days I feel I am being silly to not just have my clothing made in Bali or Nepal(I have friends who want to help me do this.)but I just can't do it.I want to be a model of sustainable business and know that my impact of the earth is as small as it can be.I have a long way to go but takign one step at a time.ALOHA

  • amylburns

    Amy L Burns from AmyLBurns said 6 years ago

    Love this! I'm so excited that Etsy is working to reduce it's impact as a company. One of the many things I appreciate about Etsy. :)

  • collectique

    collectique from Collectique said 6 years ago

    Great contribution! think green!!

  • greengrass4men

    Liz M from TheFoxAndFig said 6 years ago

    I am impressed with your efforts and applaud you for publishing your goals. As someone who used to work in the environmental field, I understand that its incredibly difficult for companies to do this. Keep up the good work!!

  • feathers2gether

    cindy rogers from feathers2gether said 6 years ago

    great news Katie! Thanks to you and Etsy. With you all the way!!

  • doodlebirdie

    Patricia from DoodleBirdie said 6 years ago

    Love this! Thanks so much for posting!

  • ColombianJezebel

    ColombianJezebel from JezebelsCreations said 6 years ago

    We need more awareness! We can all do out part :)

  • rainbowhomeshop

    Rainbow Home from RainbowHomeGoods said 6 years ago

    Thank you for caring & for sharing Etsy's eco-goals!

  • sarahmoon503

    Sarah from Birchmoonrocksfibers said 6 years ago

    Thanks Etsy! I love being a part of a good business/group of people!

  • exitera

    Hristo Hvoynev from ExiArtsConceptWorlds said 6 years ago

    Happy Earth day to all ! I will find eco materials for my artworks to start redusing my impact on this economy! And it would be more fun to work with eco materials ,I can even learn handmade paper tehniques and more:) Thank you Etsy ,for thinking ecollogicaly! Earth is the most important object that has ever existed for every one of us!

  • susannaschwertner

    Susanna Schwertner from Regathered said 6 years ago

    Good blog. Practically Green sounds interesting. Happy Earth Day to you all too:-)

  • susannaschwertner

    Susanna Schwertner from Regathered said 6 years ago

    Good blog. Practically Green sounds interesting. Happy Earth Day to you all too :)

  • buffalogirls

    Ludmilla from buffalogirls said 6 years ago

    We celebrate Earth every day- by being kind to our surroundings, by practicing permaculture, by not abusing nature. Thank you Etsy for caring.

  • ClaudiaLord

    Claudia Lord from ClaudiaLord said 6 years ago

    I recycle and bought a Prius - but know I can do more!

  • alydeedesign

    Alyson from AlyDeePaperDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great post. It's wonderful to see the goals Etsy is putting forward to reduce impact and be mindful of the environment. Way to stay accountable and promote this important issue!

  • grimmandgrete

    Lisa from REBELbyFATE said 6 years ago

    Every little bit counts + it's great to have goals set for positive change. I too noticed that Earth Day + Earth Hour for that matter weren't as 'popular' as they have been in the past. But the good news is they persist and people still participate!

  • thisislullaby

    Vicky Brown from ThisisLullaby said 6 years ago

    Good to read this :-)

  • RaisingGreenKids

    Dorinda from RaisingGreenKids said 6 years ago

    great article. Glad to see Etsy is taking steps as well.

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 6 years ago

    Good read! Thanks Etsy!

  • muesserbozkurt

    müesser bozkurt from Istanbulcolors said 6 years ago

    good work, thanks Etsy..

  • muesserbozkurt

    müesser bozkurt from Istanbulcolors said 6 years ago

    good work tahnk Etsy..

  • LinaNstich

    Lina Rodogianni from LinaNstitch said 6 years ago

    We all need to be eco-conscious.

  • allegart

    Andrea Allegrone from allegart said 6 years ago

    Awesome

  • TrulyAceDesign

    Amanda Vlahakis from TaylorTwoShop said 6 years ago

    I'm just signing up with Practically Green, it looks good :)

  • averygraydesigns

    Stephanie Bense from AveryGrayDesigns said 6 years ago

    Love this. I made it a goal to have my etsy shop open in time for Earth Day. I have always loved turning one man's trash into my treasure :) Check out my shop for just a handful of the upcycled projects I've been working on with more to follow.

  • mcbbelk

    Girlfriend Necklace from Girlfriendnecklace said 6 years ago

    Hopefully!!!

  • BeadLady74

    Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy said 6 years ago

    I am a big fan of recycling and reusing items. We once had a small recycling program at our school but it became too expensive, and our students actually bring me envelopes, small cardboard boxes, and paper for my shipping that would have otherwise been discarded! I have had compliments about this practice from buyers (although I am new to Etsy) from the big auction site). I am big on recycling beads in my jewelry and ornament designs, too. I use vintage beads whenever I find them-particularly lucite beads-because they are lovely AND something that may have been discarded otherwise. I appreciate that Etsy makes the same efforts!

  • catherinemaria

    Catherine Maria Charalambous from BouncyTree said 6 years ago

    Well done Etsy, keep motivating us to be better!

  • myword38
  • marydaff1

    Mary Daff from WhimsicalTeapot said 6 years ago

    A greener planet is a better planet.. Thanks for featuring this article Etsy :)

  • soranagallery

    Jena C from BedQuilts said 6 years ago

    i am glad i read this article. green is better. so far cotton fabric for my quilting rarely comes in eco-friendly product. so, lets us folks of eco-green minded likeness, hold etsy too this. after-all aren't we into sustenance? Yes! Go Sustenance lifestyle!

  • macheanimal

    Macheanimal animal from Macheanimal said 6 years ago

    Think green!

  • roseybriggswoodward

    Rosey Briggs-Woodward from ScottiesVintage said 6 years ago

    Its so wonderful to belong to a community where our earth matters. Thank you Etsy. Lets hope e all follow your example

Sign in to add your own