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.