i subscribe to a very cool e-newsletter called 'the daily green' and on most days, i barely have time to read it. but today, their headline was 'selling earth day.' yikes, i thought! really? but then i remembered that we market and promote everything for profit, so why not earth day?
the daily green really called a spade a spade with this one. it seems that everyone from tropicana (who will plant trees when you buy their newly re-branded products...and harvest your information for sales pitches when you enter the accompanying sweepstakes) to marcal paper products (who point out how much paper we waste in an attempt to sell their new recycled line of paper products) is out to 'sell' us on what a good job they are doing for our fragile planet. ay, ay, ay...next thing you know, we'll see an earth day festival sponsored by enron or cargill (and don't even get me started on their ads about how they love and support the small family farm...what a crock!)
i did an interview last evening with a young, inspired (and inspiring) college student who, for one of her courses, had to apply a modern problem to antiquity and find literary references to support her arguments. it was one of the most interesting interviews i have ever done. the naivete of youth is so great. as she asked me questions and i ranted about corporate greed, the corruption of our food supply, the mockery being made of healthy cooking by every corporation and self-help guru as they water down its true meaning, she listened with an intensity that i have not seen in some time. her questions were pointed and came from the place of being so young. 'so who do we turn to?' 'how do we really change this and save the planet and humanity's health?' she talked about being the butt of many a joke with friends and family because she chooses a plant based diet. (i should note that her parents are completely on board, but extended family...well...) she talked about finding answers before it's too late...and she came to her own conclusion...change must happen person to person, one at a time, a completely grassroots, independent movement to making better choices. she discovered that you must turn inward for inspiration and strength and then find a voice that resonates with you and follow that vision. she realized that change, real change is hard work.
the most inconvenient truth we face as we approach earth day is this. while it has become a day of festivals and parties (yielding, ironically, tons of trash that end up in the landfill), earth day is about commitment...commitment to preserving precious resources, to conserving energy, reducing waste, reducing your footprint and working to salvage our planet before it's too late.
so how do we really change? well, let me tell you that we won't save the planet simply by carrying canvas totes or using a sigg bottle in place of plastic ones (although they are a step in the right direction). in order to effect the kind of change that will preserve life as we know it, we need to change our food...big time; not just moving to skinless chicken breasts.
the nhs, the largest health care system in europe wants to remove meat from all hospital menus. ironically, they do not want to do this because of health, but because they discovered that their system of health care made a footprint on the planet equal to that of 18 nations...and since meat is 'not necessary in a healthy diet,' why not just take it off the menu and leave a lighter footprint behind?
so many people are realizing the truth. so many are seeing that arby's, mc donald's, wendy's, olive garden and all the other fast food, junk food-peddling hucksters behind the marketing do not have the health of america or its children at the heart of their campaigns and marketing strategies. they want your money. so since that's the case, go for it. demand better quality. let's all tell them that if they want our hard-earned dollars, they have to earn them. they have to create products, services and foods that improve our quality of life...we have to say 'enough!!!' no more foods that make us obese, unhealthy and dependent on pharmaceuticals. we have to tell them that we want healthy children and healthy lives...and a healthy planet.
so this earth day, vote with your dollar. money speaks loudly and it's the only language marketers hear...use it!
this one was for you, grace...