Many of the practices that harm the earth, and threaten her inhabitants, can be linked to commerce. Businesses are formed to satisfy a need and in doing so, to make money. This seems reasonable enough. However, as the line between need and want becomes blurred, there is a belief that more and more products and services must be offered ... quickly ... and at any cost. Often, the cost is destruction of the environment, elimination of animal species ... and ultimately harm to human life.
There are responsible businesses in the world ... those that use sustainable practices and who are caring stewards of the environment. There are also businesses who are ignorant to the affects of their practices. Still others simply don't care because they are focused on the financial rather than the environmental bottom line. In writing these words, I am also aware that in some areas of the world there are people trying to put food on the table, in any way they can ... and when a person's choice is eating or protecting endangered habitat, animals or the environment ... well, how can we blame them for wanting to feed their families. It's a huge problem.
Tackling the problem is complex and will take much more than a post on this blog. However ... there are things that we can do. With every purchase that we make, we send a message. We encourage responsible business practices when we buy earth friendly products. Alternately, we encourage harmful business practices when we buy non earth friendly products.
The following article talks about one company's efforts to prevent the destruction of elephants ... an endangered species. It's also a reminder that there is power in what we purchase ... and an even greater power in what we don't purchase.
EBay has announced a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory products on its auction websites from next year.
An eBay spokesman said the move was the best way to help African and Asian elephants. The endangered animals are often hunted for their ivory tusks.
The ban comes as a conservation group prepares to release a report critical of the auction site.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare will say more than 4,000 ivory products have been listed on eBay.
It will also most sales of ivory products through eBay are done on the company's American website.
"In one instance, a user purchased a pair of elephant tusks off eBay for more than $21,000," the International Fund for Animal Welfare said.
EBay said it would still allow the sale of some antique items which contain a small amount of ivory, such as pianos.
Campaigning groups the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International welcomed the decision.
Teresa Telecky, policy director for Humane Society International, said eBay's decision was "commendable and should set an example for others".
Each year, an estimated 20,000 elephants are illegally killed in Africa and Asia for their ivory, fueling a booming black-market industry.
Elephants are protected under the International Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
Published: 2008/10/21 12:49:03 GMT
© BBC MMVIII
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