Why Earth Day is Still Pertinent as the Environmental Movement goes Mainstream

As Earth Day (April 22) approaches, we’ve been wondering whether people are feeling overloaded on eco advice, eco products and (our favorite) eco marketing. Walmart comes to mind, with their “Save & Live Green” campaign. According to Walmart, Bissel’s Little Green Floor Cleaner is a smart choice for the environment because it’s made from recycled plastics and employs Earth-friendly packaging. In fact…according to Walmart, “If every Walmart customer bought a Little Green machine, it would be like recycling two million bags of trash.” Commence oohs and ahhs. Hey, we’ve got an even better idea! Don’t purchase a machine whose sole purpose is to sit on a stain and scrub it out while you do more important things. As far as we can tell, Little Green Robots will soon follow if people are silly enough to fall for this eco campaign.

So, to answer our own question, we are feeling a bit of overload when it comes to the eco marketing gravy train. But it only makes us more certain that Earth Day is an important reminder for all of us to come together to celebrate the Earth without the hype. In a time where the environmental movement seems to be going mainstream, why do we still think Earth Day is as pertinent as ever? Let us count the ways…

1. We love Earth Day events. Have you ever gone to a small community Earth Day event? Or a big city event? Every year, we look forward to the weekend where Earth Day takes center stage. We love taking our kids to learn about the Earth by planting seeds in compostable pots, or making their own trail mix as a healthy snack with a low carbon footprint. We love the free bags of compost that are offered and the plants that are often sold as fundraisers, and will in short time grace our gardens with lush, homegrown veggies. Most of all, we love that the advice is good, the people partaking are even better, and there are no Little Green machines in site.

2. Doubling down on real eco advice. All this eco-camouflage makes it all the more important that we separate the green, from the light green, from the faux green. Green = making your own laundry detergent from natural ingredients (for the hardcores); light green = purchasing a natural laundry detergent (for the practicals); faux green = pretending Tide Coldwater is green because it’s made to be used with cold water. Earth Day is a good reminder to all of us that preserving our environment might provide companies yet another way to market their products — and that’s fine — but it’s our job as consumers to decide how we want to spend our hard-earned dollars.

3. Getting out and enjoying the Earth. And our favorite thing about Earth Day…what better excuse to get out for a nice hike? Or a picnic in the park? Or a bike ride with friends or family?

Every year Earth Day provides us an opportunity to remember what we love about this home we’ve created, and to renew our commitment to preserve it for others to love as well.

What are your thoughts? Are you done with Earth Day? Has all the marketing pushed you over the edge, making you want to drive an SUV to Starbucks, have a non-organic coffee in a disposable cup, dispose the cup, then get another one for the road….just because? Let us know your thoughts!

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