The Food Journal and Food, Nutrition & Science

An alliance between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity

Earth Day, 365 Days a Year

Earth Day, 365 Days a Year

In the News

April 26, 2009

Last week marked the 39th anniversary of the first Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22nd. More than 20 million people across the U.S. are estimated to have participated in that first Earth Day back in 1970. More than a billion people, in 180 nations around the globe, celebrate the holiday today.

Pioneered by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962, 2009's Earth Day kicked off the beginning of The Green Generation Campaign. Big ticket issues for the campaign include the creation of millions of quality green jobs and the transformation of the global education system into one that is more Earth-friendly.With negotiations for a new global climate agreement coming up in December, these matters have never been more timely. We can expect further discussions on items like fossil fuel dependency and sustainable consumption to continue as we approach the 40th anniversary of Earth day in 2010.

While celebrating the Earth with organized birthday festivities is a great way to remind consumers about the importance of preserving precious resources, we also believe that sustainable practices should not be limited to a single, yearly event. More and more, our industry is working to take environmental action on a daily basis, and sharing this commitment with our customers and communities.

Earth Day is a time to reflect on the consequences of our actions when we choose not to nurture and protect our planet. It's a time to think about what product choices we make, how we are reusing and recycling resources, and how we can improve our packaging to save materials and reduce global impact. Knowledge is the key to respecting our environment.

The industry is already changing. Within the last year, Whole Foods completely eliminated plastic bags from their stores, and some cities are proposing to ban plastic bags from supermarkets entirely. Wineries, such as California's Kendall-Jackson, are embracing low-cost, eco-friendly virtual tastings via the Internet. Kraft Foods recently became the world’s largest buyer of coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified? farms. And so on.

Joining the green revolution is as easy as asking your consumers to do things like buy a dim bulb, turn off their running faucets, turn down their heat, check their refrigerator settings and use a reusable grocery bag. But most importantly, become a part of the conversation. Retailers have the potential to make a difference, drive change and inspire innovation. Working together, we can celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year.