NEW YORK—Founded in 1970 as a direct reaction to the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, Earth Day has marked the anniversary of the modern environmental movement for over 50 years. Every year, April 22 is a day to think about how we treat the planet we live on, as well as a day for action and legislation that will help protect the environment. Within the optical community, much of that action takes place in the form of donations, partnerships and other special programs.

This year, in recognition of Earth Day, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) declared a Climate Emergency and released a Call to Action for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector. Alongside the call to action the group have also produced a Guide for Environmentally Sustainable Practices in the Eye Health Sector. The two key resources not only highlight the need for climate action within the eye health sector, but also show how the sector can take efforts to "Restore our Earth" which is the theme of this year’s Earth Day.

Kenmark Eyewear has announced that it will be donating a portion of all sales globally to the National Forest Foundation in celebration of Earth Day today, Thursday, April 22, 2021. The NFF plants one tree for every dollar it receives, and with this program it leads natural climate solutions to climate change through large-scale reforestation on public lands.

Tree planting on our National Forests helps fight climate change, conserve wildlife habitat, and ensure healthy watersheds for all Americans as well as helps restore the damage caused by severe wildfires, insects and disease and other natural disasters. The NFF plants only native trees, and targets its efforts to the areas that need the most help. Together with the NFF, Kenmark will be helping to restore tens of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat.

Marissa Cundiff, Kenmark's VP of marketing, said, “We’re excited to have our customers join us in planting new trees in honor of Earth Day. We hope to continue to bring awareness to the importance of our National Forests and what we can do together to help ensure healthy forests for generations to come.”

Charmant is also working to protect forests this Earth Day with a partnership between Eddie Bauer and American Forests. Eddie Bauer has partnered with American Forests for over 25 years, and throughout their long-standing partnership, over 8 million trees have been planted. For this year's initiative, a portion of every Eddie Bauer Eyewear sold from April 1 through April 30, 2021 will be donated to American Forests, up to $1,000. Every dollar donated to American Forests will result in one tree being planted.

The campaign also offers multiple opportunities for customers to stock up on Eddie Bauer Eyewear and maximize their donations. Customers will receive gifts depending upon their order size: stock orders through Charmant sales consultants can earn customers an Eddie Bauer backpack, while customers placing Rx orders can receive an Eddie Bauer water bottle, via Charmant's online customer portal.

Finally, customers will be invited to comment on Charmant’s social media posts for a chance to win Eddie Bauer sunglasses, and Charmant sales consultants and employees will have the opportunity to compete in an Earth Day photography contest to be featured on Charmant’s social media pages.

Bill Hurst, Charmant's VP of sales, said, "We are proud to be able to contribute to American Forests as they work to preserve and protect our outdoor spaces. Charmant understands the importance of protecting Earth for future generations, and are happy to be doing our part, especially for the month of Earth Day.”

Finally, Etnia Barcelona is launching #BeAnArtist of a Better Tomorrow, a new campaign that aims to serve as a call-to-action for Etnia Barcelona fans everywhere with the main goal of making the world a better place today, tomorrow, and every day to come. 
To coincide with the campaign, the brand will be launching its Spring/Summer 2021 collection, which is comprised of 10 sunglasses and 10 prescription frames, all inspired by that inner energy that emerges through stability. The frames come in a variety of colorways from purples and mints to nudes and yellows with contrasts of different hues including havana, black, and grey. Etnia Barcelona creates these frames using the highest of quality natural materials such as cotton and wood-based acetates and mineral lenses. For its packaging, Etnia uses 100 percent recyclable cardboard made from certified sustainable sources and a biodegradable corn-based composite. The collection launches Monday, April 26, 2021. 

This is just a small sampling of the many ways the optical industry is getting involved in Earth Day 2021. VM will continue to share updates.