Is Earth Day a Dying Event?
Apr 16, 2012
Austin, Texas: For the past twenty or so years, Earth Day has been an important day to our company–like Christmas is to retailers.
For the months leading up to it, we sell millions of live tree seedlings with company logos, imprinted reusable tote bags, recycled pens, pencils, coloring books, water bottles, and other eco-friendly promotional items— all with an Earth Day theme or recycling message to corporations large and small, as well as to government institutions who believe in the need for eco marketing.
This year seems a little different. As of today, sales are up only 8% over last year — and that is down from our 18-25% average sales increases that have been more typical over the past decade.
More importantly I am wondering why am I not hearing about Earth Day too much this year?
Some of my major corporate account shave scaled back from Earth Day events and marketing efforts, as have many city governments. Luckily, many smaller companies have been picking up the slack – but not making the same impact.
“A cause not promoted is a cause soon forgotten”, I always say.
Earth Day is a accumulation of branded and educational messages that reach the mass audience over a period of time.
Kids learn about Earth Day from their schools. Parents are reminded of it on their national or local news shows, in the newspapers and, hopefully at work.
But if the number of organizations promoting Earth Day are leveling off – or falling – then the message of Earth Day will soon die.
Religious institutions know this very well, which is why the major stories of the Bible are inculcated at a young age, and re-told year after year. It is not told once and hoped that it sinks in.
People like stories — and the message of Earth Day needs to be filled with memorable tales of recycling efforts, energy reduction and global warming evidence.
Perhaps it should focus on local or national heroes.
We cannot hide from global warming or pacify non-believers because “they are entitled to their opinion”. Just because someone doesn’t believe in something doesn’t mean they are right. I had dinner with a neighbor the other day that said they do not believe in the Internet–that it was a fad.
That doesn’t mean they are right. I’ll continue to use the internet and promote my business through it, while they do things the old way.
Earth Day needs stories.
Earth Day needs legends and heroes.
Earth Day needs songs.
Earth Day needs characters –like the Easter Bunny.
Earth Day needs a universal symbol, like Breast Cancer Awareness has the pink ribbon.
Most of all, Earth Day needs to be the focus of educational institutions, businesses, and dare I say, religious institutions. A greener planet should be something we all believe in and something we all strive for — without wedge issues of whether climate change is hoax or not.
Whatever your belief is on climate change, a world with less pollution and with more of a focus on reusability, reduction of resources and recycling efforts is a win-win for all.
Let’s put the focus back on Green for Earth Day. Let’s leave the name calling and finger pointing out of this event and make it one of the biggest holidays and events on an annual basis.
I’d love to hear your comments about ways to bring back the impact of Earth Day.
Here’s to a green tomorrow today!