ChemLawn/EarthDay Deal Still Unclear
Yesterday, we blogged here about the controversial sponsorship of Earth Day by the lawn care giant now known as TruGreen, known infamously since 1967 as ChemLawn. Our friends at Beyond Pesticides in Washington, D.C., had originally said that Earth Day president Kathleen Rogers had renounced the deal. The official word, however, is “no comment” from Earth Day.
That means Ms. Rogers still needs help making her decision. This week, in my travels from Saskatchewan to Maine and back to Chicago, where our movie played last night and will again today, audiences have expressed complete outrage about the deal.
“When I first heard about this, I thought it was an Onion story, a total joke,” said a friend of mine from Gardeners Supply yesterday. “Of all the companies on the planet, the only company that could be considered a more absurd sponsor for Earth Day would be Monsanto itself. This is outrageous. Absolutely outrageous. Earth Day is one of the few pure organizations left on the planet. How can they do this.”
Don’t let ChemLawn hijack Earth Day in this fashion. I’m sure the money is tempting to Kathleen Rogers, who is by all accounts a competent and seasoned environmentalist and activist. I’m sure she’s conflicted as hell. She’s imagining all the good things her organization can do with those kinds of funds, reportedly in the millions of dollars. She’s looking around and facing the reality that there are not any organic lawn care fertilizer companies that can come close to that level of cash. And she’s frustrated. I can only imagine this has been the worst professional week she’s spent in a long, long time.
But she can’t take money from a company that was just fined a half a million dollars this week for its environmental offenses — in just one state. Imagine what ChemLawn is doing in other states.
To make your voice heard:
1) Contact every media outlet you can think of and send them a Letter to the Editor;
2) Contact every blogger who might care about this story;
3) Contact Kathleen Rogers herself and let her know how you feel. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and her phone number is 202-518-0044, ext. 12;
4) Join the fan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/STOPTruGreen?ref=mf.
Here’s one more suggestion for anyone in the Washington, D.C., area. Our film, A Chemical Reaction: The Story of a True Green Revolution, is holding its Washington, D.C., premiere next Friday, March 26, at 6:30 at the Globe Theater in Dupont Circle. Admission is even free. Come to the event and let’s turn it into a rally against this sponsorship. It’s an ideal opportunity at a venue where the media will be watching.