We all share this wonderful planet we call Earth, and Earth Day is the perfect time to make an extra effort to care for our collective home. Celebrating Earth Day at work is a great way to give them an opportunity to serve, reinforce company values, and give everyone a rejuvenating break from work.
82% of employees agree that it’s important for a company to have strong values that align with their own. So displaying your company’s commitment to the environment, sustainability, and our planet in general can make a big splash with your people.
The Background of Earth Day
Earth Day started as a response to a massive oil spill in 1969 and as concerns over pollution were growing. To spread education and knowledge on the subject, Senator Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes, a young activist, wanted to harness student passion and organized campus events to gain support.
They chose April 22nd for these events, a day between Spring Break and final exams, so that they’d reach the most students possible.
Seeing the huge reaction, Hayes didn’t stop with student events. He built a national staff to broaden the scope of the event and included other groups and religious organizations. He also officially named the event Earth Day.
April 22nd, 1970 was the first official Earth Day. By the end of the year, the support for environmental change was so great that the government created the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Environmental Education Act, and the Clean Air Act.
Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Work
The best way to celebrate Earth Day at work is to reinforce your support for sustainability and support employee/consumer values. Here are some strategies to try next year!
Hold Sustainability and Waste-Free Living Workshops
There are a host of things we can all do to better care for our environment. Things like reducing food waste, using reusable plastics, increasing water efficiency, and using green transportation are all skills that your people may want to get better at. Workshops led by knowledgeable people are a great way to spread those skills and help people accomplish their goals.
Host a Service Event
Get people out of the office with some sort of service activity. Whether that’s planting a tree, cleaning up a local park, or something similar, employees will love serving the community. Research local organizations that you can team up with to maximize your efforts.
Organize a Company Fundraiser
There are plenty of environmental organizations and charities that your employees would love to give to. Organize a fundraiser so that people have an easy avenue to donate. And if your company is able, match donations to reaffirm your commitment to change.
Start an Office Community Garden
Community gardens are a great way to reduce food waste, save money, and experience the satisfaction of eating something you grew yourself. Plus, giving teams an opportunity to work together to grow something is a great team building activity. Once the garden is up and running, allow employees to take what they need to encourage healthy eating.
Organize a Carpool System or Public Transportation Option
If you have a bus or train that stops near your business, encourage employees to use it! If your location is off the public transportation grid, try setting up a company-sponsored carpool system. Or, you could set up a shuttle service with a route that stops by employee-dense areas and brings them to work.
Commit to Save the Planet, One Step at a Time
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to show employees that the company shares their values and allow them to get out and have fun together for a good cause. This Earth Day, plan ways for employees to celebrate together.
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