Earth Day is 40 years old on 22 April 2010. Millions of people are coming together to do their part to save Planet Earth. Everyone, but everyone, has their theory on how to celebrate Earth Day! People are planning rallies, hosting carnivals, festivals and fashion shows, and killing energy bills (!)…no, wait… that can’t be good!
Of course, there is no need to ask, “What will you be doing to celebrate Earth day?” As a good corporate role model, I’m sure you have some eco-friendly activity planned. On the other hand, what I will ask you is, “What do you think of commercializing Earth Day?”
Everybody’s doing it! Take, for instance, James Cameroon, the man who popularized blue body paint a second time, after Mel Gibson! The director of Avatar has planned the release of the movie in DVDs to coincide with the Earth Day! Can you see the irony in The Center for Biological Diversity giving away free condoms even though latex is not bio-degradable! The powers that be join in, with a move to cut back on fossil fuels, strategically coinciding with Earth Day.
Where does corporate social responsibility end, and where does it start being all about the corporate? We have commercialized just about everything on the planet, from love to religion, to childhood. Our greed for more and disrespect for the planet is what has brought about the necessity for an Earth Day. Will we drive the final nail in the coffin and commercialize Earth Day too?
Laurie Essig of True/Slant takes a bold stand, condoning all those who have commercialized Earth Day into just another vehicle to sell their products. ‘Going Green’ is looked at as just another stunt to hog the limelight for that few moments of fame, and celebrities are the biggest offenders, according to Psychology Today. Simply wrapping your product in a veneer of so-called environmentalism does not mean that you have done your part to save the earth! The New York Times regrets that Earth Day has simply become a big business.
We implore you to ask yourself this: Does Earth Day matter anymore? Can we do something really meaningful to save the planet? Or will Earth Day simply be another Hallmark moment?