Back in 1970, Earth Day started out as a "green" event that encouraged people to decrease their consumption, but as more companies jump on the greenwashing bandwagon, Earth Day has become a marketing event that corporations use to paint themselves green while pushing ever more products and services on consumers. Now many Earth Day promotions actually encourage consumption: Fairmont Hotels is promoting its new "Lexus Hybrid Living Suites" that feature organic sheets and mini-bars stocked with "local biodynamic wines"; Mattel has introduced "Barbie BCause," a line of green Barbie accessories that Mattel describes as "playful and on-trend"; and consumers can participate in Macy's "Turn Over A New Leaf" campaign by making a $5 donation to the National Park Foundation to get discounts on Macy's merchandise during the weekend after Earth Day. Steven Addis, CEO of a branding firm, tells how to spot the greenwashers: "I call it the 95-5 rule. Five percent of somebody's business is green, but 95% of their PR is green."
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