"At 40, Earth Day Is Now Big Business" (NYT):
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.”
In part, said Robert Stone, a independent documentary filmmaker whose history of the American environmental movement is being broadcast on public television this week, the movement has been a victim of its own success in clearing up tangible problems with air and water. But that is just part of the problem, he noted.
“Every Earth Day is a reflection of where we are as a culture,” he said. “If it has become commoditized, about green consumerism instead of systemic change, then it is a reflection of our society.”