So I got this email recently from a PR representative.
In celebration of Earth Day, the company Sylvania is promoting its compact fluorescent light bulbs – by driving a Mister Softee truck around Manhattan, giving out ice cream and product coupons.
These CFL eco-friendly bulbs last 12,000 hours, apparently saving the earth and money at the same time.
12,000 hours? Ok, those sound like some really cool bulbs.
But what the hell is up with DRIVING an ice cream truck all over Manhattan in honor of Earth Day? Can you think of anything less green? Maybe tossing McDonald’s take-out trash out the back of the truck as they drive around, wasting fuel and polluting at the same time?
Since I’d rather unveil hypocrisies than fold laundry or do dishes or clean up our apartment, I write the PR rep today and include the following question…
“Wasn’t there a more eco-friendly way to spread your message about eco-friendly lightbulbs?”
And she responds…
“Thanks for the feedback. We tried to get a a hybrid truck, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. We wanted to take the opportunity to educate people about the benefits of Sylvania CFLs on a day when energy-efficiency is top of mind as well as treat them to something they would enjoy and people have been excited so far.”
For the moment, I’m going to put aside my rage over ice cream trucks in general that park outside of the playground just around dinner time to ensure that my girls leave in hysterics when I won’t treat them to a chocolate cone.
Earth Day is not supposed to just be a promotional tool. Ask Lewis Black of “The Daily Show.” He was just ripping on “Sesame Street” because of the extra, unneeded packaging on their new Elmo “Being Green” DVD that is meant to teach kids to be less wasteful.
Even though Elmo is still God in my house and I love Sesame Street for making the green effort, Lewis Black is right. So right. Almost 1/3 of the waste generated in America is packaging. True story.
And I think this company, Sylvania, could have worked just a bit harder to actually demonstrate their commitment to the earth, rather than giving off the impression that they are just trying to sell lightbulbs.
Earth Day is not supposed to be about selling stuff. It’s about figuring out ways to protect this earth that we are somehow so intent on destroying.
I know I’m not alone in trying to make a difference. I rarely accept a plastic bag. I’m basically drowning in eco-friendly totes over here. I recycle like a mad woman and try to conserve energy whenever I can.
If companies want to be part of the solution, they need to show some smarts, leadership and commitment. Because a free ice cream cone ain’t going to do it.
mama bird notes:
Move over Cinderella. Princess Bubble is here. You are going to love this modern day fairytale where a prince is not a prerequisite to living happily ever after. Click on drooling over this to read more.