Healthy Living

Why I Hate Earth Day

woman holds up two fingersIn the next 24 hours, I’ll publish two blog posts, participate in three Twitter parties, see several interviews on other people’s blogs hit the web, and appear on KTLA News. (Thanks Stephanie Tsai at Ink & Press PR!) For the past three weeks, I’ve sent info to reporters scrambling for Earth Day related stories, and fielded pitches from publicists who either don’t know—or don’t care—that vegan is a completely different ball game from eco-friendly. (For more on that, check out my What is Green page.) And I’m quickly coming to realize one thing: I hate Earth Day.

I hate the packaging of Earth Day. Do you really need another t-shirt that proclaims your love for this planet? Shouldn’t we hug trees every day? Obviously, I don’t actually hate the day itself. Who could be filled with anger against a day during which we’re encouraged to celebrate nature? Earth Day and I have grown up together—the first one was celebrated just a month shy of my birthday.

But what makes me mad is the packaging of Earth Day. The idea that we all need to get out and buy t-shirts—organic or otherwise—that proclaim our love for this planet. The concept that for this one day a year, we should hug a tree.

Shouldn’t we spend every day celebrating nature? Shouldn’t we take a few minutes each morning to be thankful that the sun still shines? Call me a treehugger, but wouldn’t we be better off spending our sunsets under a canopy of leaves than plugged in to a computer?

Okay, now I sound like a curmudgeon. I don’t hate Earth Day, of course. It’s the one day a year that I have an excuse to talk about all the things we can do each and every day to step lighter on the planet.

This year, I put together two tips for the Maker Moms group, where I’ll take part in an Earth Day related game of video tag that begins at 9 a.m. on my channel. I’ll be talking about the two easy shifts that you can make in your home to create a pesticide-free zone:

1. Eat organic for 48 hours to flush out most pesticides from your body.

2. Eliminate all the bug killers in your home to reduce potential pesticide exposures by 80%.

So obviously, the cat’s out of the bag on that video—and if you’ve been reading Mommy Greenest for a while, you probably already know those tips.

Like me, you’re probably confronted by choices every day in which you think about your impact on the Earth. CFL or LED? Organic or grass-fed? Can “fragrance-free” still contain phthalates? (For the record: yes.) And what bin does the straw go in?

My point is: It’s a process. We can’t solve these problems in one day. The only think we can do is keep thinking and learning about new ways to live better. As trite as it sounds: Yes, Earth Day is every day.

How are you planning on spending it? Will you be hugging trees tomorrow? I’d love to see your comments, and you can share some photos with me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, too!

4.22.14 Update: I’m loving the Lights Off. Screens On. campaign from NBCUniversal. In honor of Earth Day, they’re asking everyone to turn off their lights while their screens—computers, TVs, etc—are on. If everyone turned off two lights for an hour each day, we’d save five billion kilowatt hours. Those hours are powered by coal, people. And the coal we’d save in just those two hours a day would be enough to fill up the Empire State Building–three times. I’m a part of the #LightsOffScreensOn Twitter party tonight. Meanwhile, here’s that video I was talking about. Earth Day, I’m out!


  • Sandra

    i love your encouraging, positive, can-do message! yay! we CAN do this…. though sometimes we feel deluged by toxins everyday… all the time! thanks for your motivational message.

  • Hayley Kaplan

    Wow! I loved reading that it only takes 2 days to flush out pesticides. Makes me want to switch to organic – I’ll give it a shot. Did you hear about a city that is up in arms because no plastic is allowed in the market? They want to have the choice between paper and plastic. It struck me as ridiculous. If they need plastic that badly, they should bring their own. Am I being too hardcore?

  • Anna@Green Talk

    I am spending my day in the garden!

    I agree with you. This year I have been pitched so much I want to turn off my computer. Half of what I am pitched is simply let’s get on the Earth Day band wagon.

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Sounds good to me! And if you do the organic thing for two days you flush most pesticides out of your body. Just sayin’… 🙂

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