Love it or Hate it, Earth Day has Changed

Love it or Hate it, Earth Day has Changed

How a day that was once a beacon of powerful, meaningful action morphed into a day of rampant greenwashing and free tote bags
The Cotton Wars: Why We Choose Organic Reading Love it or Hate it, Earth Day has Changed 2 minutes

Originally conceived as a day of action to address pressing environmental issues, the first Earth Day in April 1970 sparked a wave of nationwide protests, rallies, and demonstrations. It galvanized millions of people to demand political action, and resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and landmark environmental legislation for the first time. It was a mind-blowing success: it raised awareness, forced political action, and shifted cultural attitudes.AP photo - April 22, 1970, Earth Day, Philadelphia

And then the story becomes a familiar one ...

Over the years, Earth Day gained mainstream acceptance and popularity. As that happened, it also became increasingly commercialized and diluted.

Corporate interests began to co-opt the movement, using it as a marketing opportunity to promote "green" products and initiatives. This widespread greenwashing played a big role in undermining the movement by belittling consumer intelligence, and eroding trust in valid sustainability claims.

At the same time, Earth Day's original focus on systemic change started to shift towards emphasizing individual actions and accountability - like recycling and reducing plastic. By placing the focus on individual behavioral change, attention was diverted away from industrial and corporate responsibility. While individual actions do matter, they alone cannot address the massive systemic issues driving the current climate crisis.

That's the short story. All of this has collectively transformed a day of meaningful action into one of superficial, profit-driven gestures that lack true impact - ultimately undermining the climate emergency, and hindering genuine progress.

Does this mean that we should throw in the towel on Earth Day? Nah. Despite its evolution and challenges, the original values of Earth Day—community engagement, political action, and environmental stewardship—remain deeply relevant and meaningful. A shift in focus is needed, but Earth Day still embodies the spirit of environmental stewardship, and reminds us of the massive issues we face today.

So, Happy Earth Day??!? We're feeling it. Since the very beginning we have been driven by a simple mission: to bring only the safest, most sustainable products into the world. Every day of the year.