Earth Day not just a one-day sale

By BenitaZepeda

Every now and then it’s good to recognize something that is beneficial to our planet. That’s what Earth Day is for. The annual observation serves as a great reminder that we need to treat our planet better, but it shouldn’t be just one day out of the year. It seems like it is turning into just another sales pitch for businesses across

the country.

Major corporations can be commended for recognizing Earth Day, such as Starbucks offering free coffee or tea to individuals who use their own reusable cup or Disney offering free reusable bags for every five plastic bags turned into the store. Lowe’s is even giving away 1 million free trees on April 23. These are good incentives to be greener. However, there are other businesses only using the day as a gimmick to attract customers.

It’s a shame these companies don’t offer these types of incentives year-round. As global warming gets worse and endangered species become extinct, these types of deals could push consumers into more Earth-friendly lifestyles. Earth Day, which started in 1970, is meant to educate people about the importance of conservation and taking care of our planet. It’s not just a sales pitch.

For instance, if Starbucks had a similar deal every day or once a week, people would use fewer paper cups and eliminate waste. The amount of money saved by going through fewer cups may offset the cost of one small coffee or tea. Sure, there would need to be restrictions because companies need to make money, but perhaps one of them should take a chance to better the planet. If companies can use this day as a way to attract costumer loyalty, then they should definitely be offering eco-friendly deals all the time.

The same could be said for Earth Hour, where people are urged to turn off or unplug all of their electronics to save energy. This year’s took place on March 26, and several major cities, such as Chicago, Sydney and Paris participated by turning off the lights. Why not do that sort of thing each week to start conserving?

Changing a lifestyle isn’t easy, but in a consumer-driven culture, businesses could be using green incentives to make the Earth a better place. Of course, change is hard, but these sorts of deals might force people into positive habits.

I know I am not the perfect example of someone who lives a green lifestyle by any means, but the more I learn, the more I pay attention to my actions. I turn the lights off more, recycle when it’s available and don’t throw my trash on the ground. It’s the first step in starting to take care of the Earth.

People are more cognizant of their actions and how they impact the planet, which is a great thing, but we shouldn’t let the recognition of our planet only be a one-day-a-year event.