An Ad for Earth Day

Written by John on April 20th, 2010

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

Here’s the ad I’d like to see:  “Happy Earth Day…Buy Less Stuff”.  I know there’s a recession and we’re a consumer-driven economy, but do we really need a new phone every two years or a 4WD Bushwhacker for our 3-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 7th 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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