Vote for the B-girl Guide – Help Me Win a Grant for $2000 Via GOOD Magazine

Update: a group in Detroit won! But I had a good showing. Thanks for the support!

The B-girl Guide is up for a grant of $2000 to fund the final editing, illustration and printing of the book. It’s me and 60 other projects and it’s totally dependent on your vote! There’s a lot of great, great projects there & I’d love to win! Then I would be able to complete the book.

The project with the most votes as of May 30th at 3 p.m. Eastern Time wins!

Click for “Vote for this Idea” to vote for me! If you don’t have a GOOD account, you just need to log in with an email address or Facebook account to register. You will be emailed a link to validate and, once you’ve voted, you’ll get verification that your vote has been counted. You can only vote once – please tell your friends to vote and spread the word! (Good recommends using Firefox or Google Chrome to access their site.)

The B-girl Guide is about being AUTHENTIC. It’s based on my experiences as rock ‘n roll publicist, activist, entrepreneur and blogger. It’s filled with practical suggestions for women and men on navigating the twists and turns of trying to stay sane and meaningful in an increasingly commercialized world. It features prescriptions for interacting with animals, the planet, and each other amidst the pressures and crises of daily life.

GOOD Maker is a project of GOOD Magazine and is “a tool to help you make good things happen. GOOD Maker gives individuals and organizations the ability to tap into the public’s creativity and energy to address an issue that’s important to them.

Please vote for me and The B-girl Guide here at Good. Thank you!

Cathryn.

The Commercialization of Earth Day — “Saving” Our Environment and What We Can Do About It

Happy Earth Day?

I suppose it was inevitable that Earth Day, founded 42 years ago in 1970, would be co-opted. I stopped reading the countless emails from company after company I received this week exclaiming “Happy Earth Day!” and offering “free shipping!” “Save 10%!” or “40% off!”

On the one hand, we all want to celebrate the Earth. Yay! But on the other, we want to really celebrate it, not via meaningless hype from companies that throw a few words on their packaging and once a year set up a booth at an Earth Day Fair and yet everything else they do – from production, packaging and disposal – reeks of irresponsibility with profit before practice, irretrievably polluting our precious water, air and land.

With the environment such a hot topic and a marketers’ dream to boot, how do we discern what’s real and what’s “green washing“? Even newer, small companies on the scene boasting “organic” “sustainable” “local” can start to appear less about being authentic and more about jumping on a trend.

How Earth Day Began and What It Meant

The roots of all this began over 40 years ago. On the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010, author, activist and professor Brian Tokar wrote a piece for the Indypendent, “Reclaiming Earth Day — With Climate Chaos on the Horizon, the Environmental Movement needs Traction” reflecting on its origins:

While environmental awareness has seeped into mainstream U.S. society since the 1970s — the era when 20 million people hit the streets on Earth Day to demand action — the structures of power remain largely the same. The mass mobilizations around the original Earth Day helped spur then-President Richard Nixon to sign a series of ambitious environmental laws that helped to clean contaminated waterways, save the bald eagle from the ravages of pesticides and began to clear the air, which in the early 1960s was so polluted that people were passing out all over our cities. Most environmental victories since then have benefited from those changes in the law, but more fundamental changes seem as distant as ever.

the original Earth Day on April 22, 1970, was initially a staged event. Politicians like Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) and Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-CA) took the lead in crafting the first Earth Day celebration that unexpectedly brought millions of people out around the country. The events, however, were supported by establishment institutions like the Conservation Foundation, a corporate think-tank founded by Laurance Rockefeller in 1948. Nixon even began the year with a presidential proclamation saying that the 1970s would be the “environmental decade.”

To everyone’s surprise, Earth Day turned out to be the largest outpouring of public sentiment on any political issue to date. It drew public attention to environmentalism as a social movement in its own right. And it set the stage to pressure Congress to pass 15 major national environmental laws over a 10-year period and establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In addition to the formation of the EPA, in the early 70s, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act were all passed. 

Promise Unfulfilled?

It’s a great history, and yet, with all the uber-focus on the environment currently, it still has not lived up to its promise. Continue reading