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Avoid using these in your Earth day celebration

2021-04-20

We only have one

Cian Duffy
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This year marks the 51st year of Earth Day celebrations. Earth Day was created as a reminder of how vulnerable our planet is. Instead, brands have a tendency to use it as an excuse to highlight our natural landscapes instead of talking about the work we have to do to make sure we can still call this place home for generations. So here’s a list of some of the things to avoid in your earth day content and a few things that are fair game.

Water Bottles

The war on water bottles has to be the weirdest of the climate solution fallacies. The average American produces 231 pounds of single-use plastic waste each year and of all the earth’s litter, only 14% is from beverage containers. So why are water bottles so sinful? Of course, getting a reusable water bottle is better but by making water bottles the villain, we’ve given all the other single-use plastic manufacturing a scapegoat.

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Children

Using children in your Earth Day campaign could pull on some heartstrings and get people to change their ways to create a better, greener planet for the next generation. Buuuuut most likely it’ll tell people that this isn’t an immediate issue–that it’s something the next generation should worry about. This, of course, isn’t true. Climate change is an issue that needs everyone’s attention to solve right now.

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Plants

Here at Drive, we’re big plant people (okay, really just Gabe and Cian and about five other people in here, so almost all of us), and there is tons of research that suggests having plants is beneficial to humans. But the solution to carbon emission is not planting more trees. Although deforestation is an issue, that has more of an effect on wildlife habitat and less so of the fact that there are fewer photosynthesizers in the world.

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Fields of Grass

When we think of a natural, clean planet, we often think of beautiful rolling hills of grass, and “amber waves of grain.” But growing grass has more negative effects on the environment than positive ones. Turfgrass is the largest irrigated crop in the US and covers three times more land than corn. Not only can humans, a rapidly growing and hungry population, not eat landscape grass, but it also requires a lot of water. Landscape irrigation makes up for ⅓ of the water use in the United States. The “grass” that we can eat— wheat, barley, corn, etc.—mostly goes to livestock and agriculture is one of the largest contributors to pollution emissions.

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Okay, so we’ve listed a bunch of ways you shouldn’t cover Earth Day, but that doesn’t mean we want you to avoid talking about Earth Day altogether. Here are a few elements you can use in your earth appreciation content.

Water

Not only is water shortage a global issue, it’s an actionable and solvable cause we can all contribute to. While other elements of climate threats can feel monstrous and not very impactful for one person, water truly is a drop in the bucket movement.

Climate Legislation Action

Speaking of those monstrous climate issues that take a bunch of people to solve…although taking actionable steps to reduce your carbon footprint and eating a plant-based diet does contribute to lessening the long-term effects of climate change, so does advocating for climate action online. Using your platform to amplify climate-related legislation and sharing resources for others to get in contact with their representatives can have a massive impact on decisions being made, like advocating that countries stay a part of the Paris Agreement.

Highlighting Our Love for the Great Outdoors

By highlighting the ways in which we enjoy the outdoors, the more people we expose to having respectful, mutually-beneficial relationships with the outdoors. The more people we can get hiking, biking, swimming and living outside, the less we become reliant on the activities and practices that are harmful to our home. Of course, to maximize exposure to the outdoors, we have to make it accessible and inclusive.

This year we have an opportunity to take advantage of this day instead of treating it like any old holiday. We can use our content for good so that we can continue celebrating for years to come.