Earth Day Balks At Lawn Care Sponsorship
Earth Day organizers have returned a major sponsorship less than a month before the sponsor, TruGreen-Chemlawn, was set to promote a message of sustainable lawn care at the organization's 40th anniversary flagship event in Washington.
What would cause organizers to do that? On March 16, six days after announcing the Earth Day sponsorship, TruGreen was fined $500,000 by The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for what it claims were were more than 100 separate environmental code violations dating back to 2007.
Protesters of the Tennessee company's Earth Day sponsorship ensued and were fueled by social media, like the 800+ member Facebook group, Stop TruGreen From Sponsoring Earth Day.
On Tuesday, two weeks to the day after a press release announcing the partnership, both Earth Day and TruGreen announced in a joint statement that "due to unanticipated events, Earth Day Network and TruGreen regrettably announce their relationship for the 40th anniversary event has been suspended."
References to TruGreen have been removed from Earthday's official website and the TruGreen/Earth Day microsite (earthday.org/action/trugreen), which was being used to promote the partnership, now redirects to Earth Day's homepage. Google's cached version of TruGreen's online activation is still available. All Earth Day references have been removed from TruGreen's site as well.
Now that the TruGreen controversy is over, where will environmental activists sponsor snipe next? Scotts Miracle-Gro will kick-off its brand new MLB partnership next month and there's already a petition for that.