How to Celebrate Earth Day in the Office
2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration created by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Senator Nelson was a staunch environmentalist who was passionate about increasing ecological awareness. Millions of Americans, including college and university students, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs across the country. This increase in awareness ultimately led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Act. For several years after, other programs we were adopted as well: National Environment Education Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
Earth Day is now recognized as the largest secular observance in the world. More than a billion people every year honor what Senator Nelson began on April 22, 1970. Companies are realizing more and more the importance of creating internal programs and policies to affect change in their own environments.
There are a few simple things your office can do to contribute the health and wellness of our world.
1. Go Green
Make your workspace, whether at home or in the office, a greener, healthier environment by placing an office plant or two on your desk.
Research has proven that people are happier, healthier, and more productive in a room enriched with live plants. Not only do plants help clean the air of harmful toxins like nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, and benzene but they are a living reminder of your commitment to protect the environment. Small table top plants are attractive, easy to manage, and don’t take up much space on your desk.
2. Organize Outdoor Cleanup
One of the best ways to honor Earth Day at your office is to host a Earth Day celebration. We aren’t talking about the kind that involves a cake, paper plates, or party favors. We mean the kind were you encourage your staff to go outside and clean up around the building or take a walk, enjoy the fresh air and pick up some trash along the way with a recycled tote bag.
Create an event this April 22nd to share your company’s goals to go green and perhaps introduce new initiatives on recycling or energy efficient measures. Use Earth Day as an opportunity to designate a Green Team Captain who will help the company stay on track and will assist in implementing new environmentally conscience policies.
3. Reusable Water Bottles
Want to encourage your staff to ditch the plastic water bottles? Give them all reusable ones!
Reusable bottles come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and types and can be decorated with your own company logo. They even make ones that look like stickers (made to match your company branding) which is very “on trend”.
4. Conserve Power
We are probably all guilty of leaving our computers, screens, printers, and coffee pots plugged in at the end of the workday, but it’s really important to unplug them at the end of the day. Companies across the U.S. are wasting billions of dollars and emitting 20 million tons of carbon dioxide to power equipment not being used.
Take a few extra minutes before signing off for the day and shutdown or unplug the appliances and equipment in your office. This goes for your home office as well. You will find that physically switching off your office will also be good for your mental health as it is a clear signal that your day is done and you will not feel tempted to read emails and respond outside of office hours. Give yourself, the electronics, and the environment a break! If you do find yourself thinking about work resist the urge to power up. Keep a notepad to write down those things you want to tackle when your workday begins.
5. Plant a Tree
Did you know that in less than a minute you can put the wheels in motion to plant a tree half way across the world? It’s true! Treecycler Cards are a fun and simple way to let employees, for instance, donate a tree in one of many reforestation projects around the world. Users visit the website and enter their unique code and then choose where in the world they would like to plant a tree from the choices on the map.
Reward codes can be printed on anything including seeded or recycled paper. Codes can also be emailed. This is a great program that directly helps the environment, the organizations that fulfill them, and makes the employee feel great about giving back with the support of their company.