April 22 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. What began in 1970 in the U.S. has now grown to involve 192 countries with more than one billion people participating in events worldwide (source: earthday.org).
While you may already be doing your part to conserve resources at home, how about doing the same at work? Celebrating Earth Day not only helps the environment and the company’s bottom line, it also instills pride and builds camaraderie. Here are a few simple ways to make every day Earth Day at work.
E – Encourage alternative transportation.
Co-workers often live close to one another without knowing it. Help connect interested carpoolers by providing additional information about public transportation along with a sign-up sheet.
Don’t forget bike routes, too. Many cities continue to add more bike lanes to local streets making it safer than ever to cycle to work. Recognize employees who use alternative transportation by hosting a raffle for those who carpool, walk, bike, bus or take a train to work that day or week. Reward with a green gift like membership to a local environmental group or canvas tote bag filled with recycled products.
A – Add low maintenance plants inside and out.
Indoor plants clean the air and add life to office décor, but why stop there? Green-up the outdoors too.
Just about every office has a weekend gardener who can help plan and manage a small garden or a few potted plants. Look for herbs and native plants that thrive with minimal maintenance.
R – Reuse everything you can.
Did you know Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year? (source: Brita) If you include other plastic beverage bottles, the total skyrockets to over 215 billion containers every year.
Shockingly, it takes 500 to 1,000 years for plastics to degrade (source: Eco-Watch). Instead of using a new bottle of water each time, opt for a reusable one.
T – Turn it off.
Switch to energy-efficient lighting and shut off lights when leaving a room.
H – Host a parks clean-up day.
Local and state parks regularly need volunteers to help clean up shorelines, parking lots and campgrounds, especially before summer.
Organize a team event with friendly competition – whoever finds the strangest item, the most cigarette butts, or collects the largest amount of trash wins an annual parks pass. Encourage family and friends to participate and solicit sponsorships for every bag collected. Give proceeds to a local environmental group.
D – Donate old stuff.
Look for organizations in need and donate what you can, recycle what you can’t.
A – Adopt a print smart policy.
Think twice about printing something, use print preview to avoid unwanted pages, and draft form when you need a hard copy.
Reuse paper by printing on the reverse side or making it into scratchpads. Switch trade publications and magazines to electronic only.
Y – You can switch to recycled office products.
Just about everything you need for the office – from sticky notes and shelves, to mops and mirrors – are all available from recycled or sustainable sources.
Let OfficeZilla Help You Celebrate Earth Day at Work
Use these simple Earth Day ideas as a springboard for long-term change. It only takes a little effort to make a big impact on our world.