I have been thinking about this since someone criticized me when I tweeted about Earth Hour App last month. Remember I posted about it here? Yeah, that Earth Hour App ….which, by the way, my friend’s son downloaded the free app and it showed him what people around the globe are doing to be eco-friendly. He thought it was neat and entered what he was doing too.
But back to my tweet.
The “Tweep” who criticized me thought Earth Hour is a totally useless concept so the Earth Hour App was even more stupid. He said an app doesn’t make you more green and that it’s an “armchair” green movement. I disagreed and said that if it can make a teenager get interested in finding out about what Earth Hour is, then, it’s doing its job. He disagreed. He said, being green or Earth Hour or even Earth Day, for that matter, has become nothing but a corporate driven gimmicky marketing tool to push stuff on people to buy. A total commercialism. Earth Hour or Earth Day does not make you become green. Uh oh…
Okayyy, then… And with that, I logged off from Twitter. Because honestly, 140 characters weren’t going to work for me to try to explain my thoughts to an over zealous, and maybe misunderstood, person. The thing is, I respect his blog and I learn a lot from him. But he was being a little too extreme on that tweet exchange. *Note: I wasn’t the only one he was sparring with on Twitter that day. He probably got fed up with all the tweets about “Earth Hour” this and “Earth Hour” that. I was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back when I tweeted, ‘There’s an app for that. Here is a ………(link)”, after reading one of his sarcastic tweets. Sometimes I have to learn to keep my mouth shut.
In all fairness though, I did post about how not to make Earth Day another holiday too because it was becoming ridiculously commercial last year.
And I thought about that Twitter conversation and my last year’s post this Sunday as I strolled through the Earth Day celebration at a local park, sponsored by the C-o-u-n-t-y!
Yeah, it was a celebration, alright. There were more dogs on leashes and toddlers running around to enjoy the beautiful weather than people attending the event.
This is what the park looked like in the middle of the Earth Day event.
Do you see the throngs of people? Nope. The umbrellas you see on the left were some farmers market vendors who were selling local produce, baked goods, and pickles. No Whole Foods – just a local health food store called, “Mrs. Green’s” table inside, handing out reusable cotton grocery bags and coupons. There were a few local politicians on stage, announcing raffle item winners. And thanked the crowd – the few people who were in front of the stage on the top right photo – and then took off while a band began to play.
Inside the big tent were some booths with a ton of printed maetrial, waiting for someone to stop by… anyone. If I can get clear pictures of the booths like these, that means, there aren’t enough people attending the event, right?
The table on the left was by a private school. One high school. Where are all the other high schools? The table on the right is a “Green Event Planner”
Compost system is on the left and a booth on the right was giving out reusable grocery bags that I saw people clutching – one woman had a few in her arms. Seriously, how many freebies do you need?
Green renovation company is on the left and an energy company is on the right.
A public utility company is on the left and a moms’ networking group is on the right.
There was a public transportation agency that were handing out bus schedules and bike path maps ( not pictured).
And that was it. I was so disappointed. What happened to the movement that Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, started 41 years ago?
Look at this gorgeous park. Imagine if this park was filled with people attending Earth Day rallies, demonstrations, kids activities, and to have opportunities to meet environmentalists and politicians? But most of all, having solidarity to commit to improving our environment, like the way the original Earth Day did? It seemed like such a wasted day of gorgeous weather and a beautiful public space. An opportunity lost.
It was a wasted day of what “could have” been.
Mind you, I still think the event impacted and informed those who came. But it could have been a lot more than just a few booths handing out flyers and raffle prizes.
Next year, I’m going to get involved to see what we can do to make this day a better awareness day.
So while walking back to my house, I thought about that tweet exchange and sorta empathized with the person. Just a bit.