Episode 56 – Earth Day and Greenwashing

Listen on Spotify / Apple / Anchor / scroll down for our podcast player!


How do you get a billion people to participate in a single event every year?

In this episode, Olivia looks back on the roots of Earth Day and what we can learn (and avoid) from the day’s history.

Then Elise tells us about the origins of greenwashing at a beachside resort, some of the most ridiculous examples, and common greenwashing schemes to look out for this month.

Other topics include celebrities who participate in greenwashing traps, the season for greentrolling, and clothing recycling that only exists in Animal Crossing.


Story #1: Earth Day (Olivia)
“Students at Cerritos College in Norwalk, California release a large balloon during a rally celebrating the first official Earth Day.” Julian Wasser/LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images [Image & Caption via HISTORY.com]

Sources:
The History of Earth Day, EarthDay.org
Earth Day 2022, History.com
HISTORY OF | Earth Day, HISTORY Canada
Earth Day founder sees some progress, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 21 2001
How the first Earth Day started a movements, Our Changing Climate
The Genius of Earth Day, Adam Rome for the journal Environmental History

Story #2: Greenwashing (Elise)

Sources:
A South Korean beauty brand admitted that its product marked ‘I’m paper bottle’ is actually a plastic bottle wrapped in paper, Business Insider, April 2021
A Power Plant Is Burning H&M Clothes Instead of Coal, Bloomberg, Nov 2017
The Global Glut of Clothing Is an Environmental Crisis, Bloomberg, Feb 2022
Data: Primark and Amazon rank among most sustainable retailers in new consumer poll, RetailWeek, March 2022
The flawed ways brands talk about sustainability, Vogue Business, April 2020
H&M called out for “greenwashing” in its Conscious fashion collection, dezeen, August 2019
H&M Drives Innovation In Sustainability With 2021 Style, Forbes, May 2021
H&M made its former sustainability chief its CEO. Now it wants to help other fashion houses become sustainable—for a fee, Fortune, March 2020
What Is Greenwashing?, Business News Daily, Feb 2022
The troubling evolution of corporate greenwashing, Bruce Wilson via Informit, 2017

The Dump

Olivia is obsessively listening to old episodes of the Longform podcast, particularly episodes with Cheryl Strayed and Heather Havrilesky.

Check out Elise’s vintage shop page Heiss Vintage if you live in Austin and want to know when she’s doing pop-ups!


The World Is Burning bookshop is live! Help us come up with book list titles and bulk up our reading list.

Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.

You can keep up with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok.

If you enjoyed this episode, considering reviewing us on Apple Podcasts and downloading/subscribing/following wherever you like to do those things. It helps us immensely.

Thanks for listening!

Ep. 62 – Kings, Potatoes, and Pulling Patagonias World Is Burning

This episode is all about our favorite topics, colonialism and the climate crisis. Olivia tells the story of the Irish Potato Famine, which likely goes a bit deeper than you remember. We talk about the parallels between this piece of Irish history and the crises happening today that impact the most vulnerable first. What happens when power structures are completely out of balance? Then, Elise digs further into the suspicious claims that Charles could be our new “Climate King.” Other topics include reformist vs. abolitionist approaches, meaningfully redistributing power, and diving into fall. P.S. Like Elise says at the top of the episode, we had some audio issues on this episode that make a little less crisp than usual. We hope you can bear with us! Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 62 – Kings, Potatoes, and Pulling Patagonias
  2. Ep. 61 – Pathfinders – Warren County and the Goddess of Glen Canyon
  3. Reimagining the "It's Too Late" Narrative and Climate Doom [Down the Rabbit Hole Minisode 8]
  4. Down the Rabbit Hole Minisode 7: Individual Action and the Private Jet Debacle
  5. Ep. 60 – Volcanoes and Water Towers