Vintage Earth Day TV Ads, Ranked

Vintage Earth Day TV Ads, Ranked

It’s been over 50 years since the first Earth Day, and boy, we really solved all those problems, huh?

What began as a protest movement demanding strong environmental policy is now just a sad, greenwashed shell that gives polluters a chance to tweet platitudes and pat themselves on the back for “loving” the Earth (all while continuing to pollute like mad). These vintage TV spots may not have saved us from environmental ruin, but at least they’re a nostalgic reminder of a much more optimistic time.

1993 VH1 ‘Do It for the Planet’

This was a combo Earth Day/concert reminder for VH1 viewers. The ad isn’t necessarily bad, but it boils down environmental change to individual actions like walking instead of driving (not everyone has that choice) and recycling instead of larger system changes.

3 out of 5 Earths.

1980 Collective Effort

I love the animation style in this Earth Day ad from 1980. It’s a sad reminder that U.S. still doesn’t have many walkable cities.

A solid 3.5 out of 5 Earths.

1990 Elementary School Rhymes

The voices in this Earth Day ad are from fourth graders who were students at the consolidated school in Kennebunkport, Maine (at least according to the YouTube description). “The Earth would be sweet if we kept it neat.” So true, little one.

4 out of 5 Earths.

VH1 Earth Day Special

VH1 brought out some major A-listers for its Earth Day specials. RIP, Robin Williams

4.5 out of 5 Earths.

1991 Muppets Earth Day

I loved watching reruns of Muppet Treasure Island in both English and very badly dubbed Spanish (probably on Telemundo) in the early aughts as a child. And I fully support this message of making Earth Day part of every day instead of relegating caring about environmental issues to an annual holiday.

This ad was never not going to be a favourite. 100 out of 5 Earths.

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