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You’re too smart to fall for Earth Day hype

by Lynn

Over the last month I’ve been drowning in Earth Day hype.

You wouldn’t believe (unless you’re tagged as a “green” blogger), how many emails I’ve received in reference to April 22.

“I’m sure your readers will be interested in our green closet deodorizer!”

“Just in time for Earth Day! Don’t let the opportunity to pass for you to write about how we’ve increased the size of our plastic bags which will save tons of plastic from ending up in landfills!” (HUH?)

“Celebrate Earth Day with 25% off your favorite (virgin paper) magazines!”

You get the idea.

Any way marketers can find a link to Earth Day, they do it.

After awhile it got exhausting.

By today, in-box still bulging with uninvited Earth Day-related propaganda, I am just fed up.

Personally I think Earth Day is a fine idea.

As much as I believe every day should be Earth Day, most people are too wrapped up in their lives to think about taking daily or even monthly actions. So a reminder with a call to action for people to engage in their communities can be a positive thing.

Earth Day may not act as a prod for everyone, but it doesn’t hurt.

Except when it is turned into a marketing circus and people either fall for the hype or are so tired of it that they tune out.

Unfortunately, as more and more companies are making Earth-friendlier items and stabs at sustainability, the level of greenwashing in order to pull the plastic over the public’s eyes, has increased exponentially.

And April 22nd has become the lightening rod for every silly, outlandish item with the vaguest, most tenuous link to sustainability.

This Earth Day, vow not to allow yourself to be reeled in like a mindless fish.

When you choose to buy green, ask questions. Decide whether the item has a real purpose, what it’s made from, where it’s made, who make it, how long it will last and whether it can be re-used, re-invented or recycled once it reaches the end of its life.

Better yet, forget about closet deodorizers, plastic bags and magazine discounts and consider what you can do this Earth Day to make a difference for your community and the planet.

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

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