Real Leaders

Removing Politics from Environmental Conversations

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast

“The end goal of EarthX is to save the world and to save it environmentally, but through education, through calls to action, through recruitment. It was a disadvantage starting this in Dallas 10 years ago, but now it’s a great advantage because we have built a huge education and recruitment without preaching to the choir.”

Trammell Crow, Dallas businessman turned environmentalist, knew a different approach was necessary to promote sustainability in Middle America. His solution? EarthX, a pro-business celebration of Earth Day.

The following is a summary of Episode 107 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a discussion of environmental politics with Trammell Crow, founder of EarthX. View, read, or listen to the full conversation below.

The Largest Earth Day Celebration in the World

EarthX emphasizes that business development and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. This middle ground has separated environment from politics, converted many sustainability skeptics, and debunked the “granola” stigma associated with environmentalism. Formerly known as Earth Day Dallas, EarthX has now gone global. Since its debut in 2011, EarthX has attracted over 460,000 participants, making it the largest Earth Day celebration in the world. 

Crow explains that EarthX promotes environmental education and awareness for individuals and companies. However, the annual conference also addresses a new responsibility for the environment: it falls not only with big business, but with every individual consumer:

“The economics makes so much sense in many parts of America. If corporations do what’s right for their bottom line, and I mean their triple bottom line, they’ll save the world. Then consumers and you and me and John Q public [need to] realize that it’s not just the corporation’s fault. It’s how we shop and how we consume. [We] take our own responsibility every single day. It’s just two sides of the coin, isn’t it?”

Listen to Episode 107 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

Politics have Prevented Environmental Progress

Crow emphasizes that any hesitation towards environmentalism is the result of environmental politics and the nationwide misconception that the environment is a political agenda. 

“There are people of all political ilks who are involved in environmentalism, [though] they might not call it that,” Crow states. “And I know down here in Texas great reformer, rancher, hunter, fisher conservationists, but as soon as you start talking climate, they’ll push the chair back and stand up.”

Part of the success of EarthX is its stance that environmentalism is apolitical. Consequently, holding the conference annually in Dallas has also proven instrumental. As a result, environmental politics are transforming into environmental awareness, which now spreads from a new focal point in Middle America.

Crow laughs, “I’ve had grown up white European males come up to me with their Texas accent and say, ‘Trammell, I’ve never been here before, and I have had an epiphany.’ They’ve used the E word. It really, really lets us know we’re doing the right thing.”



Learn more about EarthX here:

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