Earth Day sucks. Yes, you read that correctly. The whole day makes no sense. Earth Day was yesterday and all day long I thought – why are we celebrating? Earth Day is like Valentine’s Day for the planet, a great day for marketers but of very little value for the actual recipients.
I know some of you are getting your tar and feathers out at this very moment. Some of you are rolling out your well worn “It raises awareness” arguments. Some of you are saying “Earth Day was yesterday?”. Look, I am not saying the sentiment is wrong. I am saying the execution is misguided.
3 Reasons Earth Day Sucks
- We waste more resources celebrating Earth Day than we gain value.
Earth Day is yet another reason to create products and tchotchkes, recycled or not, that will only add to the mountains of trash already going into landfills. Earth Day is a great day for marketers. But, not a great day for the Earth. How many resources were wasted planning and preparing all the events, swag, etc… that were run yesterday. How many teachers printed handouts about saving the earth for their students? How many people did a special craft with their kids for Earth Day? How many people: drove or flew to attend events? I am going to take a wild guess and say more than if the day hadn’t been celebrated by a long shot.
- It makes people feel like they have done their part for the year.
Relieved of the guilt of over consumption, people and businesses go back to their everyday life. The hope, of course, is that having a day to reflect on the struggles of our beloved planet will change habits and lifestyles. The reality is people who aren’t staring in the mirror very quickly forget what they look like. In other words, if I am not concerned about being a good steward of this planet daily then one day won’t make a difference. Which brings me to my 3rd reason Earth Day sucks.
- One day does not make a sustainable difference.
Being a good steward of our planet means a lot more than planting a seedling or recycling that Starbucks cup on Earth Day. It means asking yourself if you should be buying it in the first place.
I said Earth Day is like Valentine’s Day for the planet. Here’s why: if you are celebrating your love for something on a single day of the year you are destined to fail. My wife and I never celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was a decision we made when we were still dating. We decided that it was silly to celebrate our “love” for each other one day a year. What were we supposed to do the other 364 days?
It is the same with Earth Day. Make your stewardship of this planet a lifestyle – leave it how you would hope to receive it. It all seems pretty basic. For Earth Day we should have all turned off our iPhones, iPads, Laptops, etc… and just went outside.