What is Earth Day & Why Do We Recognize It?
Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 by the Environmental Teach-In and Senator Gaylord Nelson, a strong environmental activist. Largely supported and organized at the grassroots level, over 20 million Americans came out in response to and in support of the movement in peaceful protests favoring environmental reform. Many acts of legislation were passed in regards to the environment following Earth Day, such as the Clean Air Act, laws protecting water and wild lands, as well as the creation of the EPA.
Having been declared by Congress as a national day to celebrate the Earth, the message of Earth Day has lived on since the 1970s. We hope that its impact continues in the wake of necessary improvements in environmental protection laws due to global warming, increasing pollution, water pollution, and plenty of other issues.
Promoting Your Green Values on Earth Day
As many as 69% of American businesses promoted green programs and initiatives in 2010, citing savings in electricity, paper, water, heating/cooling, ridesharing, and more. Perhaps your organization is among these progressive companies? Maybe you take it a step further and make eco-friendliness a part of your business model, by using locally sourced ingredients, recycled materials, and more.
Today, the majority of businesses are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and to do so publicly, in efforts to showcase their environmentally conscious values and efforts in corporate responsibility. Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity to advertise your organization’s green thumb! On April 22nd, celebrate the environment while promoting global awareness amongst clients, colleagues, and consumers. Here are a few ideas for how to do so:
Activities and Marketing Ideas
Make Your Environment More Eco-Friendly
Take this as a pledge to go green in at least one area of your office. Make the leap from using throwaway plates, cups, and utensils and instead outfit your kitchen with real table settings, mugs, and silverware. Lunch at the office will feel much more relaxed and luxurious– it may even encourage employees to eat better or to spend less time away from their desks. Other areas of the workplace that might be improved:
- Swap out paper towels for hand towels
- Use “green” cleaning supplies
- Avoid aerosol spray cans
- Buy in bulk to save on shipping materials and gas
The Break Room
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs
- Make the most of natural light, and opt for brightly colored walls and furniture to reduce the need for overhead lights
- Add some greenery to keep the air clean
Marketing and Graphic Design Departments
- Update mailing lists regularly to avoid sending duplicate copies or mailers to the wrong address
- Use environmentally-friendly printer paper
- Always review documents digitally before printing
Changes such as these can and should be announced in your company’s newsletter, social media channels, or email campaigns. This is a great way to get people talking about your organization, and it helps to encourage loyalty among customers and partners.
Align Your Name with a Cause
If your biz does not yet support an environmental cause, perhaps this is the time to choose one! Decide as a team which issue your company cares most about, and then create a plan to rally behind it. In pledging support, your office might:
- Sponsor a local or national event that relates to the cause, such as a marathon, river cleanup, conference or panel discussion
- Host your own event to help raise awareness locally and commit your business to the cause
- Donate annual, financial gifts to one or more nonprofit organizations dedicated to resolving or mitigating your environmental issue of choice
- Make your physical office or storefront a drop-off location for recycled and donated goods
- Regularly offer environmental incentives for sales, for example by planting a tree with each transaction, or donating a portion of sales towards an environmental organization
Participate in Giving Back
Because going green is considered trendy, businesses must really make the effort to walk the walk – not just talk the talk. Providing funding is a very helpful way to do your part, but it isn’t the only valuable resource you can offer. Time and hard work are just as meaningful, and better align your company’s actions with its interests. Here are a few other ways you might get your team involved:
- Clean up your local parks, lakes, ponds, and rivers
- Manage a plot at a public garden
- Attend a city meeting or event in support of beneficial environmental laws
- Volunteer at a nearby farm, nursery, or bee farm
- Paint a mural or beautify a public space to make it usable again
- Create and promote advantageous partnerships with local businesses
Ideas for Promotional Items to Gift on Earth Day
One way that you can show your support for environmental protection and spread awareness is by using global-themed promotional products. Small and cost-effective, giveaways are ideal for celebrating Earth Day with clients, employees, and the general public. There are many different types of customizable items that will remind people not only of the importance of taking care of our planet, but that your company is an active supporter in this cause.