Earth Day … Has it Made a Difference?

By Rae Ann Dougherty, CWCC Member

It is spring time.  Also on Friday (April 22) we celebrate Earth Day.  Since the first Earth Day in 1970, it has grown from a grassroots effort with 20 million participants to over 1 billion in 174 countries today!  A series of environmental atrocities, where people died and rivers burned, led to the first Earth Day.  As a result of the concerns expressed, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was born later the same year!

Through the years some people have embraced the environmental movement more than others.  Today it is impossible to not see changes in our lifestyle that has evolved from environmental measures by ourselves or others. 

A popular saying is “what you think about, you bring about.”  So has a focus on our environment over the last four decades made a difference?  In short the answer is a resounding YES!   Reviewing just our vambient air quality, almost all the pollutants in our ambient air quality that have been regulated have significantly decreased, for example: carbon monoxide decreased 31% and particulate matter (PM-10 which includes soot, smoke, dirt, and liquid droplets) has seen a 71% decline.  In addition, the phase down of lead in gasoline has proven to be one of the single most important and successful environmental health initiatives.

Experiencing the benefits of the environmental movement serves as motivation to do more.  One of the greatest challenges today, however, is what is known as “greenwashing.”  There are so many claims that it is hard to know what to believe and what is deceptive advertising.  A 2009 study by Terra Choice Environmental Marketing identified the three areas of consumer goods with the greatest level of greenwashing to be products designed for a baby or child, cosmetics, and cleaning products. In all three cases, marketers manipulate a consumer’s safety concerns and fears by capitalizing on the supposed health and safety benefits of green living.  Education pays off!  As Anna Lappe stated in O Magazine, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

Thank you for all you are doing … every little bit DOES make a huge difference for ourselves today and our future generations!

© 2011 by Rae Ann Dougherty, owner of Green Cleaning Products LLC

Rae Ann Dougherty, an immediate past member of the CWCC Board of Directors, is a professional in the environmental field for the past 35 years and has served as the environmental and sustainability leader in multiple large multinational corporations.  Rae Ann is now working to provide solutions to residential and commercial entities with a line of a choice of products.  These products are non-toxic, have zero impact on the environment, and are safe. No more greenwashing as these are certified by a third party such as the US EPA.  Learn more at She can be reached at (720) 746-0803 or

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