Oh, Denis Hayes and Gaylord Nelson, what hath ye wrought. Though Earth Day was founded with good intentions, the holiday has long since been co-opted by flacks from all trades as another great opportunity to sell shit. And we can’t exactly blame them: What doesn’t go well with Earth? Seriously, it’s the Sriracha of planets.
Here at Grist HQ, we’re in the unique position of receiving a press release about every targeted Earth Day campaign in existence. No matter what we say to the collective PR hive mind, come Earth Day they always make sure we’re fielding pitches like a young Joe Garagiolo. And bless ‘em for it, because with the dire state our atmosphere’s in (insert second Sriracha joke here), we sure could use the yuks.
We figured you can, too. Here are some of our favorites this year.
Cheap Trick headlines Earth Day rally on the National Mall: Can’t say that
dad-rock granddad-rock will bring in the kiddies like Wiz Kalifa or even Flaming Lips (they headlined in 2009), but Rick Nielsen windmilling on his signature gazillion-necked guitar is a powerful argument for wind energy.
Celebrate Earth’s 400th birthday with … Ed Norton?: OK, we get that it’s pretty much all been downhill since Primal Fear, but did Edward Norton really approve that image? (But seriously, Ed’s a U.N. biodiversity ambassador, and as all U.N. ambassadors know, the Earth is only 400 years old. Just ask Angelina.)
Ford teams up with Adrian Grenier: We thought we had Earth Day celebrities covered with Ed, but Entourage’s Adrian Grenier sneaks in on a technicality: “He’s sexy, FWIW,” says an anonymous staffer.
NASCAR to plant trees at Santa Rosa Elementary School: NASCAR Green Clean Air tree planting. Never mind that NASCAR is fucking the Earth with its very existence.
Extrabux will plant a tree for every purchase made: Go ahead and buy that hoochie dress from Forever 21. It’s also a forest now.
MyRegistry.com eco-friendly babycare products: “If you’re expecting, support our planet this Earth Day by registering for an organic hammock to rock your baby to sleep in, or an eco-friendly diaper bag to carry bottles and baby wipes while on the go. Before your baby can take his first step or utter her first word, he or she can make a contribution to the environment.” Do you guys carry a Baby Einstein for irony?
Earth Day? More like Earth Gay: No jokes here, since this is one campaign we actually dig: Out For Sustainability expands eco-awareness for the LGBTQ community and beyond. They’re spreading to four cities this year and 20+ next year.
Some crap is free: Not everyone’s selling something on Earth Day — some folks are just givin’ it away. Get free reusable bags, Origins skin cleanser, Pottery Barn sunflower seeds (huh?), burritos from Chipotle, green cleaners from Whole Foods, and “scenery” from our national parks, who’ll offer free admittance on Earth Day.
The Real Housewives of Orange County go green: “The ladies take a ‘glamping’ trip to Santa Barbara and one housewife dishes about her decision to drive a Prius.” A Prius?!? BE still my heart: Who says reality TV doesn’t create role models?
Earth Day 1970 revisited: Don’t let that handsome tree fool you: “Free-market” Earth Day is code for “no Earth Day at all.”
MAVEA water filtration pitchers: “We can’t think of a better way to commemorate [Earth Day] and rededicate yourself to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle than with a MAVEA water filtration pitcher.” Really? I can think of about 3,000 better ways, and about half of them involve destroying MAVEA water filtration pitchers. The other half involve Adrian Grenier. (Also, a note to MAVEA’s spelling-bee champion: Can you help me locate this “While Foods” you mention in your press release? I’ve never heard of it.)
TREE WRITES A BOOK CALLED A Kindle Saved My Life
[Ed. note: Original emphasis preserved because it's inscrutably awesome.]: “The author, known only as The Tree, writes that he hails from a forest that supplies a major book publisher and penned A Kindle Saved My Life to express his gratitude for the new lease on life afforded him by the e-reader. The Tree informs and entertains, sharing tree-saving tips and views on topics from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to famous actors who’ve played trees. The Tree even weighs in on Chaz Bono’s gender change (and explains why it’s relevant).”
Nothing says ‘Earth Day’ like ‘national tragedy’: From an actual Care2 email received by a Grist staffer: “Good morning. Wednesday is the 45th day since the murder of Trayvon Martin. Also, remember to keep up with our Earth Day coverage every day in April! Have a wonderful holiday.” We have no words.
Earth Day is for pets, too: “What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by treating your cat a lush, edible bed of oat grass or a pinch of Certified Organic Catnip?” My cat celebrates Earth Day by murdering invasive spiders and sleeping, thank you very much.
Zlango Icon Messaging “Goes Green” this Earth Day: “Users can now add even more personal expression to their mobile messaging with unique icons that share emotive, funny and serious sentiments about Earth Day with a set of funny, cheeky and even educational icons that add a ‘green’ dimension to everyday messages.” Seems to me the only dimension I need to add to everyday messages is DELETE.
That’s about all we can stomach this year. In the meantime: Happy Earth Day, Earth! You don’t look a day over 388!