Last Sunday my morning newspaper seemed to include a lot of ads in a peculiar shade of green. As I was waiting for the coffee to percolate, I couldn’t figure it out–St. Patrick’s Day has been and gone, what was up with the green? After the caffeine made its way to my brain cells I finally figured out that a whole lot of companies want you to buy stuff for Earth Day. Truly cause-branding at its oxymoronic best.
Fortunately I had an alternative reading opportunity, my recently arrived latest copy of World Pulse Magazine which was devoted to discussing women and the earth. Here is what World Pulse founder Jensine Larsen had to say in her essay, The Unsilent Spring,
Everywhere women are on the frontlines of ecological destruction. As the primary caregivers, providers of sustenance, and agricultural producers, they work most closely with the natural environment and are most impacted by its degradation. Mothers hold contaminated water to their children’s mouths and care for family members with birth defects, cancers, and illnesses due to toxic pollution. Young girls spend their days scouring for firewood that has become scarce. Women farmers find their land eroded by thinning topsoil, baked dry or washed away due to climate change. Just as rape plagues womankind, the rape of the Earth strikes a double punch.
Yet with the most at stake, women have become increasingly motivated to protect the Earth. Millions of modern-day Rachel Carsons are stepping out from the shadow of mining pits, blasted mountains, dumping grounds, and scorched forests to mobilize their communities.
These women leaders are a potent immune system for the Earth. They, and the solutions they bring, are poised to lead the environmental movement into its most formidable chapter yet.
If you can’t find the print magazine, part of it is online as well as other web resources. Highly recommended. The voices we need to be hearing are those like Larsen, Wangari Maathai, Terry Tempest Williams and Helen Caldicott to name a few. What neither we or the earth needs is corporate greenwashing that is nothing more than corporate profiteering disguised as do-good altruism.
And because they should be called out, here are a couple of this year’s most revolting examples of corporate opportunism at the expense of Mother Earth:
On Earth Day , listen to women like Jensine Larsen, plant seeds, use little and ignore the faux corporate ecology.