Photo by Flickr/Michael Caven
The NYTimes has a piece on the business of Earth Day. What began 40 years ago, largely as a protest against the lack of corporate and governmental responsibility toward the environment, has now become a marketing opportunity. You know, green is the new black, buy a stuffed penguin to save the polar ice caps, etc., etc. But does this new-found corporate conscience do any good or is it all just “green-washing”?
“… To many pioneers of the environmental movement, eco-consumerism, creeping for decades, is intensely frustrating and detracts from Earth Day’s original purpose.‘This ridiculous perverted marketing has cheapened the concept of what is really green,’ said Denis Hayes, who was national coordinator of the first Earth Day and is returning to organize this year’s activities in Washington. ‘It is tragic.’ …”
Has the environmental movement, as all movements eventually do, run its course now that it has been co-opted by corporate America? Or maybe this is free-market environmentalism. Can we really buy our way to environmental health?