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Earth Day Overkill – Has Earth Day Been Too Commercialized?

2009 April 30

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

The week prior to Earth Day I was surprised by the number of “green advertisements” on TV, in print, and on the Web. Everywhere you looked businesses where jumping on the Earth Day bandwagon. Eco-marketing was alive and well! While surfing the Web on Earth Day, I even came across a blog of some one who was complaining of the waste generated by all these so call “green ads.” Personally, I don’t necessarily classify these green ads in the same category as junk mail in terms of paper waste. But you do wonder if given all the resources used in the process—are people getting the true message about Earth Day? Well, my response is a resounding yes! Is this attention excessive? Definitely not! And should we do more? Absolutely! Let me explain.

I think in the last couple of months or so, the general public is starting to wake up to the idea that Earth Day goes beyond that one day of the year, April 22nd. Many schools and business were celebrating Earth Week. At EPA, we were gearing up to Earth Month many months prior to April. I believe that the willingness to take action in favor of environmental protection today is very similar to the first days of the green movement nearly 40 years ago. It’s true that thanks to the leadership of many known and unsung heroes, the environment is much better today than it was in 1990. Nonetheless, today we have new challenges that need to be addressed and require immediate attention.

More and more people are realizing that Earth Day is each and every day. We only have one Planet Earth with finite natural resources that have to be protected. Increasing awareness is just the beginning. Taking action is the most important part. So what are you going to do for the environment today?

We’ve made it simple. Pick 5 for the environment so you can go green everyday!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    April 30, 2009

    This movement is about change and change takes a lot of work. Can you over emphasize Earth Day? I agree with you, no, you can’t. Are there some things to keep in mind with the theme of Earth Day like using less paper and less non-sustainable resources to get the message out? Indeed. Until the term “Earth Day” becomes obsolete, when every day becomes Earth Day, there’s quite a bit of work to do.

    Last night I saw the U.S. premiere of “The Age of Stupid” a real wakeup call film that brings to light the environmental tipping point we are currently facing. It helps show the human side of the climate change issue, where “An Inconvenient Truth” discusses the science behind this phenomenon. The film makes it blatantly clear that we must take political action NOW and accelerate sustainable practices – most importantly, weaning off fossil fuels – before it’s too late. The UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December is a crucial milestone for improvement and for saving our planet.

  2. Ashlee permalink
    April 30, 2009

    No. There is a goal, a goal that requires a common effort, somewhat of a consensus among people as to what really IS important. Gaining that consensus requires work, spreading the word, getting it out there using different medians.

    At one time, I never gave the environment a second thought. BECAUSE of this commercialization I have become aware…..informed….and eager to contribute to perserving our beautiful Earth.

    Keep on. I want to learn even more ways to help our Earth. :)

  3. Sydney Classifieds permalink
    July 27, 2010

    The real wake up call film that brings to light in the environmental one.the environmental is used for develop the beautiful Earth.

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