Earth Day 2009 – An Opinion

Found this excellent piece via UK Indymedia:

“I want you to forget about April 22, 2009. Just do whatever you normally do on that day; don’t write anything in your diary; don’t put a circle round the date on your calendar; don’t make a special effort to talk about the environment. Why should you? If you are not a hypocrite then Earth Day will mean nothing special to you because like all other days it will just be sustainable living as usual.”

“Alternatively – like the idiot businessman who gives up his daily aircraft commute to “respect the Earth”, but just on that one day – you could treat it as something special, a day to make huge symbolic waves that, miraculously, make no one wet, and leave no one with a long-lasting feeling that they are living lives that are not their own. If you think I’m being overly cynical, don’t forget that Earth Day 2008 was a horror story of excessive consumption on behalf of The Planet™, and it is looking like Earth Day 2009 is going to be even worse:

April 22 will mark Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world as the greenest of holidays. Established in 1970, it was created to call attention to the environment.

Earth Day coverage has grown exponentially over the past decade and will get substantial coverage in most media outlets — including national television, radio, newspaper, magazines, blogs, etc.

Earth Day creates an excellent opportunity for companies to promote their environmental activities and concerns to a broad base, as well as to their local community.

What will your company do for Earth Day to stand out to its base and capture the attention of its public? How will you let your customers, prospects, employees and/or shareholders know about your efforts to reduce carbon emissions, use more eco-friendly materials, reduce waste in packaging, start a recycling campaign, cut emissions, etc?

My suggestion: Don’t forget the kids. Children are Our Future.

A national research study commissioned by the National Environmental Education Training Foundation noted that children placed the environment third in a list of 10 issues behind only AIDS and kidnapping. This contrasts greatly with adults, for whom the economy, crime, and drugs are of greater concern. Children worry about long-term issues such as damage to the ozone layer and destruction of the rain forest.

Did you know that 99% of children in America today have access to environmental classes in school, and 31 states require schools to incorporate environmental concepts into virtually every subject in all grade levels?

Reach out to children. Children have influence over parents’ buying habits. as well as being an influencing force for recycling and conservation activities.

If you have a local business, work with a school district and get imprinted eco-friendly promotional items, which are educational, into the students’ hands. Try to target elementary or middle schools for best response and maximum impact.
I genuinely feel sick, reading this. I encourage you to post your own blogs, and send your own letters in about what you think of this kind of cynical, bloated marketing behaviour. Earth Day has become the perfect example of why business has no place in the future of this planet!”


» Original article


One thought on “Earth Day 2009 – An Opinion

  • 21st April 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Your earth day article is refreshing in its approach.

    How many people hypocritically promote earth day to an almost fanatical level – all while tossing their empty coffee cups out of their cars in the countryside.

    We need to wake up and take responsibility for our actions. We need to look for areas where we can make improvements in our surroundings. We need to stop justifying our own inactions because of what is going on elsewhere.

    Most of all, we need to make real gestures rather than symbolic ones. Rather than acting out improvements, why not resolve to take real actions the rest of the year.

    I wrote a similar post to this just a month ago. It was titled Maybe the UN Should Leave the Lights On.

    Let’s do this. Let’s teach our children to walk to school instead of drive. Let’s teach our children to turn off the lights. Let’s teach our children to not leave the water running, to put on a sweater, to close the windows, to not litter, to buy local organic produce…

    … and maybe we’ll learn to do the same.


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