Majority of Canadians find a green lifestyle hard to maintain

Survey reveals perceived high costs and a lack of options prevent Canadians from purchasing environmentally-friendly products

TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - Despite best efforts the majority of Canadians are struggling to make the shift to become sustainable shoppers. An eBay Canada survey released today revealed that fifty-six per cent of Canadians find it difficult to lead a green lifestyle and cite expensive prices and a lack of options as barriers to becoming green.

According to the survey of more than 1500 Canadians, an overwhelming 84 per cent find green products more expensive than their environmentally-harmful counterparts. Forty-seven per cent of respondents felt there are not enough green options where they shop. The survey also revealed that two out of five Canadians feel overwhelmed by the amount of green information available.

"A greener lifestyle should feel like a trade-up, not a trade off," said Kevin Wolfley, eBay Canada's Green Team Leader. "Canadians are striving to be environmentally-friendly but key factors prevent us from achieving our goal. The survey shows that perceived high prices and limited options are making Canadian shoppers reach for products that may do more harm than good to our environment."

The survey found that 64 per cent of Canadians wish there were more green options for buying and selling. Sixty-six per cent of respondents also say a lot of their favourite brands are not green.

Earlier this month eBay unveiled its new green shopping hub (, designed to help consumers access the millions of green products available on the marketplace. "eBay believes that by pairing consumers with the tools, resources, and knowledge to shop in ways that are better for the planet, we can have a big impact," said Wolfley. The vast majority of goods traded on eBay are used, vintage or refurbished. Consumers shopping on eBay take less from the planet and get more value at the same time.

Buying green is easier than consumers think. eBay encourages Canadian consumers to follow these three guidelines:

    1. Look for pre-owned products. When you choose to reuse an item, you
       aren't asking the planet to come up with the raw materials required to
       make a new one. Extending the useful life of an item is one of the
       most sustainable choices you can make. In most cases, the greenest
       product is the one that already exists.
    2. Check whether an item is sustainably made. Products that are made from
       sustainable materials - organic fibers, renewable materials like
       bamboo, or "upcycled" from found or salvage items - are always a great
       choice for the planet. Labels like "organic", "natural" and "fair
       trade" are helpful here in separating the good from the bad.
    3. Choose energy-saving and other resource-economizing products. Whether
       you're selecting an Energy Star rated appliance or something reusable
       that replaces a disposable, resource-saving products leave a lighter
       footprint on the planet.

Compare the carbon footprint of reusing products found on eBay in comparison with that of comparable items purchased new (calculations provided by Cooler, Inc.):

    -  Choosing a previously loved leather handbag saves as much energy as a
       flight from London to Paris.
    -  Choosing new-to-you leather shoes saves more energy than an average
       household uses in a day.
    -  Buying a pre-loved silk dress saves 95% of the CO2 needed to make a
       new one.
    -  Choosing a previously-owned leather clutch saves as much energy as not
       watching TV for 3 days straight.
    -  Buying pre-owned sunglasses saves 74% of the CO2 needed to make new
    -  Choosing a pre-loved sweater saves the energy equivalent of 68 loads
       of laundry.
    -  Giving a diaper bag a second life saves 90% of the CO2 of making a new
    -  Selecting a refurbished smart phone saves the energy equivalent of
       driving 186 miles. It also saves the energy equivalent of 3 days of
       household energy.
    -  Choosing a new-to-you watch saves the energy equivalent of 39 days of
       refrigerator use.
    -  Choosing a previously owned espresso machine saves 90% of the CO2
       needed to produce a new one.
    -  Buying pre-owned crystal glasses has the eco-impact of not running
       your dishwasher 22 times.
    -  Giving a knife a second life cuts 90% of the energy needed to make a
       new one.
    -  Choosing a new-to-you blender saves 95% of the CO2 needed to produce a
       new one.

About the survey

The online survey was conducted for eBay Canada by Leger Marketing's Web panel, the sole Canadian representative of the Gallup International Association, between March 8th and March 10th, 2010, with a representative sample of 1503 adult Canadians. The survey is considered accurate within +/-2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About eBay Canada

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. In Canada, eBay was visited by nearly 7.6 million Canadians in February 2010. (comScore Media Metrix).

SOURCE eBay Canada

For further information: For further information: For media inquiries, contact: Elisabeth Napolano, Environics Communications for eBay Canada,, (416) 969-2705; Nazia Khan, Environics Communications for eBay Canada,, (416) 969-2781

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