A public service announcement for Earth Day

Written by John on April 21st, 2014

Earth Day is coming. You can tell by all the commercials peddling ways to save the environment, buy a car, plant a tree and save box tops to protect the rain forest. The possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, what isn’t endless for most is a long-term commitment to the environment, and soon the marketing mix will shift to the big Memorial Day selling season.

It’s a shame that Earth Day has been relegated, along with Christmas and Back to School, to an annual sales event. Earth Day is a secular, multi-generational opportunity for everyone to contribute to a greater good. The message for Earth Day is simple: the little contributions we all make add up to big changes for the environment. That’s right – every time you buy organic produce you are making a difference.

Here’s the commercial I’d like to see for Earth Day: ”Buy less stuff.” I realize we’re a consumer-driven economy, but do we really need a new phone every two years or a 4WD Bushwhacker for our three-mile paved drive to the mall? Here’s another thought: align yourself with companies that do the right thing every day, not as a marketing gimmick once a year. Chipotle, Patagonia and Seventh Generation are all examples of mission-driven organizations having built sustainable, low-impact businesses.

So happy Earth Day. Celebrate. Eat a burrito or plant a tree. Just don’t buy the car.


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