Love Your Planet. Love These Ads.
April 22, 1970, marks the first year of Earth Day. The genesis of the holiday is credited to Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin and Harvard graduate. He was a passionate environmentalist who initiated the day after witnessing the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. The first Earth Day was celebrated by 20 million people, and with each passing year more and more people join in on the celebration. This year, 500 million people in over 170 countries partied for the planet.
I’m no tree-hugger. I don’t wear Birkenstocks, or sing Kumbaya in the park on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t really consider myself to be an “environmentalist” – well, at least not all of the time. I do, however, love this planet. And I like to take steps, even small ones, to help our earth year round. I recycle, I stick to a vegetarian diet, and I walk, bike, or use public transportation as often as possible. I do this because I think it’s important for people to realize that we only have one earth, and it supports over 7 billion people. That’s a big job. And it’s important that we do our job to make sure that we keep this planet clean.
Many organizations are well aware of the impact that we, as a race, collectively have on the environment. Because of this, they have created advertisements and campaigns to inform consumers and encourage them to participate in Earth Day.
Here are a few of our favorites:
The Hometown Hero Awards Program
The program was established in 2004, and works on a nomination basis, awarding three prizes of $10,000 to the environmental group of the winner’s choice. This year’s advertisements featured an infinity symbol being slowly sawed down. The most powerful part is the the slogan: It doesn’t have to end like this. Clearly, this ad addresses deforestation issues. However, other ads in the past have featured an infinity sign made up of fish being scooped up by a net, and an infinity sign made up of birds being, er, eliminated by skyscrapers. This takes common environmental issues and applies emotion,
inspiring people to nominate others who are doing their part to end the madness.
Lulu Lemon Glowb Ride
Lulu Lemon is a Canadian company that puts great emphasis on both healthy people and a healthy planet. They distribute reusable bags, sell items like recyclable water bottles, and encourage activities that benefit people and the environment, like cycling. The GLOWB ride is a clever play on the word Globe, as well as the use of BYOB, for Bring Your Own Bike. The GLOWB ride took place at midnight on Earth Day and brought together like-minded, health and environment conscious people to participate in a fun Earth Day activity.
Now, before you go off about how Starbucks destroys neighbourhoods, and how people idle in their Range Rovers while waiting in the drive-thru line, and all that “STICK IT TO THE MAN” type stuff, have a look at this ad. Everyone knows Starbucks. Almost everyone drinks Starbucks. Everyday, millions of people flock to these mocha-latte moguls to get their specialty drinks and caffeine fix. Now, not only do they offer sleeves made from recycled material and recyclable packaging on a daily basis, on Earth Day they reward those who bring their own reusable mugs, and encourage more people to do so, by giving them free coffee. Does this work? Just ask the 1.2 million people that took part in the campaign yesterday.
Origins Cosmetics “Return To Origins” campaign began in 2010, in Singapore, as an Earth Day initiative. Consumers are encouraged to toss their empty cosmetic cases, regardless of brand, at an Origins store to be recycled for future cosmetic packaging. This initiative has been taken around the globe and implemented by other eco-conscious
brands like MAC and The Body Shop. Talk about beauty and brains!
A Billion Acts of Green
A Billion Acts of Green is a worldwide campaign where people can log on the website www.act.earthday.org and pledge their “Act of Green.” This act can be something as large-scale as organizing a local farmers market or environment conference,
or as small-scale as promising to use less water while washing their dishes.
They have surpassed their goal of 1 Billion Acts of Green,
and continue to inspire more green acts and awareness daily.
Those are just a few examples of big organizations doing their part on Earth Day. Although yesterday you may have been driving around in your gas guzzling SUV, and Earth Day may have come and gone without your notice, the good news is that there are 364 more days this year where you can aim to better our planet. It’s all in the details. How will you aim to care more, waste less, and love Big Mama Earth better this year? Let us know in the comment section below!