Celebrate Earth Day By Destroying The Planet!

Is It Possible To Have A Holiday Without Going Shopping?

Sick Earth CartoonThe first e-mail in my inbox this morning was from a regional pharmacy chain, advertising “Great Earth Day Savings!” That seemed to me to be a little ironic: celebrate by the planet by consuming as much as you can!

It isn’t alone. Just Google “Earth Day Shopping” and you’ll get hundreds of hits.  Now, obviously, some purchases might help the planet: trade in your SUV for a Tesla and you are getting somewhere. And consumption brings with it all kinds of good things.  But in general, consuming the planet is the opposite of preserving it, and it is one of the worst ways to observe April 22.

So have a Happy Earth Day, and do so without going to the mall. Really. You can do it.

Reader Comments

4 Replies to “Celebrate Earth Day By Destroying The Planet!”

  1. “Trade in” your SUV and get a Tesla? No environmental improvement. The SUV is still on the road.

    1. Excellent point! “Melt down” your SUV? Although if you buy filtration theory, the SUV replaces something else, which is probably (although not necessarily) older and thus more polluting. Of course, the car older than the SUV could be a small car, which means more emissions. I stand corrected.

      1. How would a new Tesla help the planet? Spending turns the economy, which damages the planet. The SUV’s embodied/embedded impact has already happened. “Melt down” only avoids a fraction of the SUV’s life-cycle impact. If it leads to all new damage, indeed a *commitment* to the new car’s full life-cycle of damage, then “melt down” is not so good for Earth.

        1. I love mother earth so much that I celebrated earth day by purchasing a six-pack of bottled water and a shopping bag made out of recycled plastic. I poured the bottled water into a nearby stream to provide fresh water inflows to our local estuary. As you know, fresh water inflows are critical to marine ecosystems so I felt good. Next I recycled the empty water bottles by refilling them with fresh tap water. By the end of earth day I was so tired that I took a nap on my renewable sofa. Thank you Gaia.

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About Jonathan

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…

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