Earth Day Cynicism (Not mine)

Earth Day bugs me.

Okay, not Earth Day itself. The idea of respecting and preserving the world is difficult to argue with. No, what annoys me is all the big corporates jumping on the bandwagon just to be seen to be there. 

These companies do, effectively, nothing, or at least nothing actually useful, just to say that they’re supporting Earth Day. It’s worth talking about a couple of examples.

My employer had committed to turn off the lights that illuminate the logos on all its buildings for our lunch hour. They also suggest that we turn off unnecessary computers and other equipment for the same time. They generously suggest that home workers to do the same.


Why not turn off the lights for the whole day? Why not have signs that don’t need power all year?

Apple, on the other hand, actually do a pretty good job environmentally, considering that they manufacture stuff which is inherently nasty. Not to say that they couldn’t do better, but they claim 100% energy for the US comes from renewables for example.

But even they fall for pointless symbols. All their retail staff were to wear special green t-shirts. How environmentally friendly is it to print thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of shirts to be worn for a single day?

There are lots of other examples. They might argue that these things are significant at their scale. Or that their feeble offering do mean something as it increases awareness. 

But wouldn’t it benefit everyone if they actually did something that protected the environment all the time? The marketing team glomming onto a genuine movement just to get positive press is incredibly cynical. Being genuine would be much better press.