Awash in Green Holidays

Just when I thought I could put my St. Patrick's Day clothing and accessories into storage, another green holiday has arrived.

More and more people and businesses are wearing green during Earth Day, and just like those folks sporting "Irish for a Day" shirts on March 17, I wonder who is actually making an effort to be green every day, and who is touting a green image because it is trendy.

According to TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, there are more products claiming to be green on the shelves of stores these days; however, many of those products are likely committing at least one of the "Seven Sins of Greenwashing."

I do have sympathy for those legitimate green companies and services having to compete with the ever-rising sea of businesses spouting Earth-friendly claims. However, all the hype I see in April has me saying—to steal a phrase from Christmas (another holiday in which you see lots of green)—"Bah, Humbug" on Earth Day.

And, the crankiness is not just coming from me. "Grist" recently launched a campaign to underscore the importance that one day of action each year is not sufficient to address the pressing needs threatening Earth.

"In many cases, Earth Day has been reduced to a sort of planetary sound bite," said Chip Giller, founder and chief executive officer of Grist. "Well, we think that bites. Our campaign is sending the message that it's time to wake up and smell the planet."

We have holidays like "Mother's Day," "Earth Day," and "Friendship Day," in which we feel compelled to honor someone or something special. While holidays and observances are good at raising awareness, we should try to honor the important people and ideas every day.

Posted by Angela Nelson on Apr 22, 2009

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