Earth Day is an annual event that brings people together on each April 22nd to demonstrate support for eco-activism and show that they care for the environment. The event was first celebrated in 1970 and since its humble origins it has spread to nearly 150 countries around the globe. Here are some easy but powerful ways for your company to show the community that you care for our communal environment on Wednesday, April 22nd.
- Participate in Climate Education Week. From April 18-25, the Earth Day Network encourages students to participate in Climate Education Week activities that include service learning, interactive activities, contests and more. By integrating some of these activities into your business, you can not only better engage customers but also demonstrate that your business is committed to caring for the environment and being a good custodian for the community.
- Calculate your energy consumption. Like many aspects of corporate social responsibility and sustainable business, a lot of leaders think that just saying that they're for environmental responsibility is enough. Go beyond the rhetoric by using the tools and resources at Energy Star to benchmark your company's energy use and start making a genuine plan to reduce waste and energy consumption.
- Pick an ambitious project. Show the community that you care for the environment by picking an attainable goal to reduce energy consumption and waste in your business. Whether it's using less paper, banning bottled water, or turning off computers during meetings to reduce your company's carbon footprint, a genuine effort to improve the environment can go a long way towards demonstrating your company's commitment to the community.
- Break the commuting cycle. Almost nothing leaves a bigger negative impact on the environment than commuting. Studies have proven that commuting has a negative impact on personal health, let alone its impact on your community's carbon footprint. Take one day to see what a difference an alternative form of transportation makes by encouraging carpools, giving out bus passes, or handing out funds for employees to try renting a bike to take to work. If you really want to make a difference, encourage employees to work from home one day during the week of Earth Day and see how rewarding employees for breaking their daily habits helps improve not only the environment but also the culture where you work.
- Deeds, not words. One of the most demonstrative ways you can help the community and improve the environment is by organizing a community service project. Visit the Hands On Network to get in touch with a local Action Center or Volunteer Center in your community. These highly trained professionals have the network and resources to put you in touch with a nonprofit organization that can help you demonstrate your commitment to the community. Some recent projects have included building a garden for a home for teen moms, planting long-term growth trees and plants in city parks, and clearing trails along open space.
- Tell your customers. There is no discredit in taking credit for your advancements in environmental sustainability. Whether you have asked your suppliers for sustainable products, taken serious steps towards reducing your company's carbon footprint, or donated time or money to an environmental organization, it is important to let your customers know about your efforts and encourage them to contribute to the health of the environment as well.