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Etsy to offset carbon emissions from shipping its products

Etsy, the online marketplace known for its handmade goods, wants to make up for the carbon spewed into the atmosphere when products bought and sold over the site are shipped around the globe. And to dramatize that mission, the internet company says it will cover the costs of mitigating the environmental damage of transporting packages on Thursday not only purchased over Etsy, but for the U.S. ecommerce sector as a whole.

After Thursday, Etsy will also buy so-called carbon offsets to manage the environmental impact of shipping products sold on its site. Carbon offsets allow for those emitting greenhouse gasses to purchase credits from an entity that is curbing carbon in the air. Projects listed by Etsy include wind power generation, forest protection and devising auto components that pollute less.

"Ninety-eight percent of Etsy's total emissions stem from items shipped from our sellers to our buyers. Although we do not actively manage this shipping process, we are in the position to do something about the environmental impact," Etsy CEO Josh Silverman wrote Tuesday in a blog post announcing the effort.

By Silverman's account, in the U.S. alone roughly 55,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere every day by delivering packages that were ordered online. Offsetting this impact for one day is the equivalent of protecting 100 square miles of U.S. forests for one year, he added.

Online retailing giant Amazon recently vowed to make 50 percent of its deliveries carbon neutral by 2030. Amazon also said it would make its carbon footprint public for the first time later this year.  

Etsy Carbon-Offset Shipping: Delivering a world of good by Etsy on YouTube
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