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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: and her phone number is 202-518-0044, ext. 12;
4) Join the fan page on Facebook:

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.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
  • Javier Gil

    Hi Risa,
    You are awesome!
    I’ll be in touch

  • Risa Edelstein

    Paul – I am happy to help. I am hoping we can confirm this with the folks at Earth Day because we are getting mixed messages from some of the FANs on the Facebook page. Let us know what you hear from either Kathleen or anyone else over at Earth Day. Thanks for all of your ongoing efforts to help get rid of lawn chemicals. I grew up in Montreal, right next to Hudson and hope we will learn a lot from our Canadian neighbors. I’m looking forward to seeing your film when it shows here in Boston on April 27th.

  • Andrew Boshears

    This is a great website that show some information about the real TruGreen/Chemlawn.

  • Rose Marie Raccioppi

    I too, upon first reading this, thought that it could not be real – lets keep the outreach going… Earth Day, 2010 is not to be remembered as Corporate Hypocrisy Day!

  • Rose Marie Raccioppi

    On a more proactive note…A theme set for Earth Day, Orangetown, New York

    Abundance BE

    Ravage not the land nor sea
    Heed the echoed cry and plea
    Heard in the crashing wave and thunderous sky
    In valleys, plains and mountains high
    Hold this Earth in reverent care
    Protect our gifts of land, water and air
    Take not in abuse a mineral or gem
    Behold the wonder of each bloom, leaf and stem
    Trees to flourish, ’tis bounty’s call
    The knowing grace of Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    Earth, animals, a you, a me
    Nurture wise and abundance be.

    Rose Marie Raccioppi
    APOGEE Poet

    As POET OF THE YEAR, Orangetown, New York
    and Member of The Orangetown Environmental Committee
    pleased to announce the presentation of
    “Abundance BE”
    In celebration and in acknowledgment of
    National Poetry Month, April 2010
    Earth Day and Orangetown Recycling Fair
    April 24, 2010
    10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    Tappan Zee High School
    Orangeburg, New York

  • Rose Marie Raccioppi

    Thank you for making a difference – Earth Day to belong to the heart and plea of Mother Earth – to be known for its questing TRUTH beyond corporate deception.

  • Mark

    Everyone should actively do our fair share of saving Mother Earth and you are simply teaching us how easy this can be… Thank you.

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