Casaubon's Book

Perhaps my two previous screeds about Earth Day were unfair. After all, this could be the next major shopping holiday, with a lead in that rivals Christmas. Check out the New York Times for a sense of the range of products available

So strong was the antibusiness sentiment for the first Earth Day in 1970 that organizers took no money from corporations and held teach-ins “to challenge corporate and government leaders.”

Forty years later, the day has turned into a premier marketing platform for selling a variety of goods and services, like office products, Greek yogurt and eco-dentistry.

For this year’s celebration, Bahama Umbrella is advertising a specially designed umbrella, with a drain so that water “can be stored, reused and recycled.” Gray Line, a New York City sightseeing company, will keep running its buses on fossil fuels, but it is promoting an “Earth Week” package of day trips to green spots like the botanical gardens and flower shopping at Chelsea Market.

F. A. O. Schwarz is taking advantage of Earth Day to showcase Peat the Penguin, an emerald-tinted plush toy that, as part of the Greenzys line, is made of soy fibers and teaches green lessons to children. The penguin, Greenzys promotional material notes, “is an ardent supporter of recycling, reusing and reducing waste.”

Ok, off to do some shopping! I admit, I am kind of tempted by this one:

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Comments

  1. #1 darwinsdog
    April 22, 2010

    Forty years later, the day has turned into a premier marketing platform for selling a variety of goods and services…

    You wouldn’t object if I bought copies of “Depletion and Abundance” and “Nation of Farmers” for Earth Day presents, now would you?

  2. #2 Crunchy Chicken
    April 22, 2010

    I got so sick of all the crap in my inbox from companies asking me to promote their paltry one-day “green initiatives” that I decided to contact a company that focuses on green year round.

    So, sponsored by Babeland, I’m giving away a solar-powered vibrator on my blog instead: http://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2010/04/orgasmic-earth-day-giveaway.html

  3. #3 Prometheus
    April 22, 2010

    I noticed this advertisement yesterday:

    “get a free
    reusable bag
    In collaboration with Tide, GE and Coca-Cola, Target stores will give away 1.5 million reusable bags with purchase on April 18,
    the first day of Earth Week.”

    Yay. If I get a tote bag do I merit enough enviro street cred to drive my 39 Packard around the rest of the year. It weighs more than two Humvee limos.

    It’s totally sustainable. I put in the bigger valves and use bio-diesel derived from bald eagle and panda fat.

  4. #4 Zuska
    April 22, 2010

    Just saw a tv commercial for a compostable potato chip bag. According to the commercial, I can totally save the earth by eating those chips! Curly haired blond children were frolicking over grassy bucolic hillsides, all because of the chip bag. It was amazing.

  5. #5 Auntiegrav
    April 23, 2010

    In the previous post, you said “The problem with this statement is that the laws of biology, physics and chemistry are no respecters of persons, or intent, or what we are comfortable with or politically willing to do.”
    I think the problem with our System of systems is that it DOES spend too much time believing and ‘respecting’ human persons and not enough acknowledging that people are no more ‘thingy’ than any other things. Your statement implies that humans have a ‘right’ to life and pursuit of happiness and some inherent morality by virtue of being human. I disagree. Most evidence supports the concept that “Humans do stuff. They come up with reasons for doing stuff; In that order.” In other words, we are no smarter than rocks or dogs or fish, but we BELIEVE we are. The destruction visited upon the world is mostly due to the self-induced importance of human ‘persons’ (Does calling them “persons” instead of “animals” make them more important than fish or trees or elephants?) The Wendell Berry poem seems to condemn business or government, but the reality is that it condemns all human behavior, especially religion, even as Berry often talks about God’s will, he shows through the poem how humans and their gods make a shopping list out of the planet and each other. “Which shrines and artworks would you destroy?”
    All of them.
    Humans need to toe the line like the other species and give back more than they take. Can’t do that while they are busy telling themselves that everything that is good for humans is good for the world. That’s just backward. Berry even says so in another quote.

  6. #6 Panda fat
    April 23, 2010

    “It’s totally sustainable. I put in the bigger valves and use bio-diesel derived from bald eagle and panda fat.”
    LOL!

    That darned Panda: Eats, shoots and leaves.

  7. #7 Prometheus
    April 23, 2010

    #4 Zuska

    “Curly haired blond children were frolicking over grassy bucolic hillsides, all because of the chip bag. It was amazing.”

    I know those. Sunchips, they claim to be made by the power of the sun and to be packed with morally unimpeachable goodness.

    True to their advertising, vegan kids wander around remarking on how much better they taste than CORPORATEFRANKENMURDERFOOD.

    They are still just Frito-Lay (PepsiCo Inc) extruded fried salt/corn slabs with a few solar panels associated with their soul crushing production plant in Modesto. They got a Greenpeace endorsement for banning GMOs from the product.

    That Utopian flavor? It is extra herbicides, pesticides and oh yea, for some reason…. “pork enzymes”.

    The biodegradable bag lets them indirectly take advantage of federal subsidies…it’s made of corn and the No-GMO Greenpeace deal didn’t involve the bag.

  8. #8 Zuska
    April 23, 2010

    Well, we aren’t eating the bag. Just composting it. In theory. You know, we would. If we had a compost bin. Which, totally, would be so awesome. If we had anything to compost. But like, I ate all my Sun Chips, so there’s nothing left to put in a compost bin. Unless…can you do a compost bin solely on Sun Chip bags? We’ve got tons of those!

    And look! Look! They are selling the most adorable compost tote pails made of recycled plastic bottles, to haul my Sun Chip bags from the kitchen to the compost bin! It says “Green Friendly” right on the compost tote pail!

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