Earth Day Overkill – Has Earth Day Been Too Commercialized?

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!