YASSSS Etsy, You Go Girl!

This week there was some big news in the world of ethical and environmentally sustainable business practices. Etsy announced they will offset 100% of carbon emissions generated by their shipping.

How Will This Work?
Every time you receive a package from Etsy, they will balance out the carbon emissions of that delivery by investing in emissions reduction projects that keep our Earth beautiful, clean, and green. Projects will include:

  • Forest preservation in Minnesota

  • Wind and solar energy in India

  • Alternative chemical use in the automotive industry.

Etsy Stock Feb-March 2019

Etsy’s CEO, Josh Silverman, said these investments will create enough clean energy to offset the carbon dioxide created in shipping products bought on its site. It’s a great place to start as the company works towards its goal to utilize 100% renewable energy by 2020. Silverman told Axios that Etsy will reach that goal next year, as planned. It seems this was a great move for business too, following the announcement this week, take a look at the spike in Etsy’s stock below:

What This Announcement Means to Me:

We all get easily caught up in the delight and convenience of placing an order online and within a few days (or sometimes hours) having that package arrive at our door. BUT we’re forgetting the price being paid by both the planet and the people making these (often cheap) products for our personal convenience. It’s easy to forget, but, there is power where we spend our money! Do you think it’s a coincidence that Ivanka Trump shut down her fashion brand in 2018? Although it hasn’t been confirmed, I’d imagine the massive boycott led by Grab Your Wallet likely had something to do with it.

Consumers Are Waking Up
What I love most about Etsy’s carbon offsetting initiative is that it will help to open consumers eyes to the impact of their purchase decisions. Maybe before reading this post, or hearing of Etsy's announcement, you had never considered the environmental impact of your e-commerce deliveries. I know it’s something I’ve only starting to focus on more recently, and that’s ok, we all have to start somewhere.

Good news is, there are easy steps to becoming a more conscious consumer. I’d recommend:

  • Take a look into the practices of the companies you’re spending money with. A quick google search is a great place to start.

  • Listen to your friends when they’re telling you they no longer buy from certain brands. Ask them why.

  • Are there companies that impress you with what they stand for and how they positively impact the world, find out more and if all checks out to you, spend your money there.

The Future IS Ethical Business
Money talks, and brands are starting to listen as they realize they’ll be left behind if they don’t make the changes consumers are starting to demand. What Etsy has done will not only have a positive impact on the environment but will also position their brand well for the future. I truly believe as time goes on, both Millennials and Gen Z, will largely factor in corporate practices and business ethics when they choose where to spend their money. Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Kellogg’s recently vowed to cut all plastic waste, was this done solely to save the oceans or to also ensure these brands are still relevant 50 years from now? That is an entirely different conversation, but my point in this post, is that we can impact the practices of these companies by speaking up with where we spend our dollars.

Final Thoughts
Next time you’re about to click that delivery button online, I encourage you to think twice. I personally am trying to put my dollars towards companies that can have a positive impact on our world instead of increasing the income of some of the richest companies and individuals on earth. There is power in your purchase, it’s time to start using it for good.

Etsy Blog
Fast Company