In the weeks leading up to Earth Day, we editors are bombarded with even more press releases than usual about eco-friendly products and services, each with seemingly more exclamation points than the last. (Consumer site Daily Green, for example, offers a selection of pitches it’s received here). Don’t get us wrong, we love a day that celebrates the planet and encourages protecting it (in fact, we changed our logo for the week to acknowledge the holiday), but we just can’t shake that feeling that, for some, Earth Day is yet another chance to sensationalize and, even worse, to greenwash.
In fact, many already entrenched in the sustainability business cringe this time of year, shunning the hype and preferring to live by the mantra “Earth Day Every Day.”
For green builders, remodelers, and architects, Earth Day probably is just another day, albeit likely not in the tree-hugging, Mother Nature-inspired way the phrase implies. So should you even care about April 22?
We think the answer is “Yes”—just not too much. Earth Day does offer some opportunities to communicate to consumers who may not have cared prior to this week’s green-infused frenzy. For those homeowners who have decided that today is the day to make a commitment to saving energy or saving water, they have become a captive audience for you to market your sustainable offerings, whether those are home energy audits, replacement windows, or new homes.
Whether it’s a special day or not, sensationalism is not required, and the same green-marketing principles should apply: Be honest and cite third-party certifications for your homes and products, sell concrete savings, and get to know your buyers’ wants and needs. (Learn more in previous coverage “The Six Myths of Green Consumers” and “10 Practical Strategies for Marketing green Homes.”)
Above all, understand homeowners’ motivations after the Earth Day-inspired interest dies down. While a select group is keen on saving the planet, many consumers are still most motivated by what will help them in the long run—financial savings, improved health, and higher resale values.
No matter how you approach Earth Day, building a high-performance home—one that lasts long, promotes healthy living, and saves energy—makes sense every day of the year.
Are you using Earth Day to promote your services in an effective way? Tell us how in the comments section below.