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Earth day ideas

8 New Earth Day Ideas for Companies (You’ve Never Heard of Before)

March 23, 2020

Get inspired with these new Earth Day ideas for your company!

Every April, businesses all over America take the time to celebrate Earth Day. This year, it’s the 50th anniversary of the environmental movement, and the perfect time for a special celebration.

This is your company’s chance to do something exceptional at a moment in human history when the earth needs our help more than ever before – and your business can make a difference.

Here’s what to do this Earth Day that will make a real impact on our planet, your business, and for the people working hard to make your company succeed.

Before we get into our carefully selected Earth Day ideas, let’s do a quick refresh on the what and why of this essential holiday. If you already know, skip down to the 8 activities below.

What is Earth Day?

Exactly 50 years ago, 20 million concerned Americans called for better protections for the environment in a mass protest that took place nationwide in 1970.

Earth day was the official launch of the global environmental movement – and people have supported it ever since. Today, when asked the question, ‘What is earth day?’ the answer is this:

A day we celebrate humanities movement towards a greener, more sustainable future that protects and supports every living thing on earth.

So, on April 22nd every year, we celebrate environmental protection!

Earth Day: Historical Timeline

Watch this short video for a quick history of Earth Day.

Why and How to Celebrate Earth Day

A recent poll by The Washington Post found that 8 in 10 Americans believe that human activity is fuelling climate change and our ongoing environmental crises.

Earth Day is a way for your company to stand up and say, ‘We’re part of the solution.’

team creating earth day solutions

There are a billion people that celebrate Earth Day every year. With 7.5 billion people on earth, that means there are a lot of individuals who can be influenced for the better.

These people are waiting for a reason to get involved, and your workplace culture can be that reason. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or hard, or expensive.

In 2020, we all need a stronger environmental agenda.

If your business understands why and how to celebrate Earth Day, it will inspire your employees to take what they have learned home with them.

Your brand can change the actions of your workforce, and together you can save the world. It begins with a fresh, innovative set of ideas for Earth Day.
And here they are.

#1: Establish a Green Team Taskforce

If you don’t have a green team yet, 2020 is a great year to establish one on Earth Day.
Your green team taskforce will help you understand how your company will be more green and sustainable in the future.

earth day celebrations

That means:

• They will investigate methods of reducing your environmental impact
• They will explain the goals of sustainable development to your employees
• They will roll out affordable plans and initiatives that save you money and resources
• They will take ownership of all corporate sustainability matters at your company

Green teams either operate on a volunteer basis, or positions can be officially appointed. Use Earth Day as the day you announce yours – plans in hand.

Corporate green teams are incredible for workplace culture. They motivate employees, encourage other sustainable brands to do business with you, and they genuinely make your business greener.

#2: Launch an Incentives-Based Recycling Program

Why not launch an office recycling program in honor of Earth Day? The average employee creates an enormous amount of waste every month, waste that harms the earth and your pocket.

Recycling program

Take paper for example – a single office worker uses a sheet of paper every 12 minutes! The bigger the company, the more you save – Apple saves tens of millions of dollars a year by recycling.

  • Create recycling stations in visible work areas
  • Assign volunteers to make sure employees follow the rules
  • Use an app that educates your employees and links everyone together
  • Create exciting rewards for employees that recycle the most wasteSet overall business goals, team goals and individual goals – have fun with it!

#3: Invite an Expert to Speak to Your Employees

One of the best Earth Day event ideas we’ve seen in action, is when companies get experts on sustainable development to do a talk for their employees. These events spark real change in people.

There are so many amazing topics to cover, and a staggering amount to learn if your employees are on board with your goals.

Recycling discussion

Try talks on:

  • Earth day recycling (focus on paper, plastic, e-waste and food)
  • Energy efficiency in the workplace
  • New technology and its role in more efficient recycling
  • Climate change and its impact on business
  • Switching to eco-friendly cleaning materials
  • Carpool or bike-to-work programs

Host an event where you have one or more speakers from various sustainable organizations around America. You can find a list of organizations here.

#4: Have a Community Earth Day Party

Who doesn’t love an Earth Day party? Why not host a special event and invite your business network, employees and customers to enjoy the big day with you.
Earth day activities for companies don’t have to be expensive, and a party is no different. Employees are often happy to contribute to raise awareness for a good cause.

Community earth day party

In fact, 20% of employees won’t leave their employer if they have solid sustainability initiatives!
Some ideas for the party:

  • A dress up theme where everyone creates an item of clothing from recyclable materials
  • An event where everyone in the community brings a bottle and builds a sculpture
  • Everyone brings old clothes/unwanted items, then swaps them / gives them away
  • Play sustainability-related games (trivia, searches, scavenger hunts, team-building)

Corporate green teams should leverage the event on social media. Your employees will have a blast, you’ll celebrate sustainable culture, and you’ll get great publicity at the same time.

#5: Host an Epic Green Fundraiser

Have you ever raised money for an inspirational cause? What better cause than our planet! These particular Earth Day ideas for your company can be combined with some of the others.

Your green team will pick a cause or organization – and your company will raise money for that cause. There are hundreds of creative ways to fundraise these days, and the best ways are online.

Community fundraiser for earth day

  • Create a jog-a-thon, push-up-a-thon or sing-a-thon for pledge-based fundraising
  • Put on a show and sell tickets, then donate the money to an animal sanctuary
  • Run a car raffle and promote it online, leading up to the big live draw
  • Raise money for your own ongoing green education initiative

Whether you have a social responsibility budget or not, there are so many great ways you can raise money. Remember to end in a big finale on Earth Day, when the money/prizes are awarded in person!

#6: Reward Your Clients & Customers for Being Green

Earth Day is about being part of the same global community. To celebrate it, pick some Earth Day activities that remind your clients and customers that you appreciate their green efforts.

Reward Green Clients

  • Discounts for customers who recycle
  • Run a ‘bring in recycling’ get 20% off program
  • Ask your clients to share your green initiatives online for a perk/reward
  • Host a ‘free dinner for all green clients’ evening

These ideas bring your employees and customers together, united under a single mission to make the world more sustainable. It’s great for business!

#7: Start Donating Food Surplus to Homeless Shelters

If you already have a company vegetable garden, why not look at the food wasted every day that leaves your canteen?

Donating food waste to shelters

Many companies have pledged this food to recycling companies, homeless shelters and other sustainable programs for use.

This Earth Day, your idea can be to create a zero waste kitchen for your employees. Even if you only donate 30% of all unused food to the homeless, it can make an enormous difference in their lives.

Now that’s responsible waste management!

#8: Lend Your Employees to an Eco-Cause

Another fantastic Earth Day idea involves the generous (and fun) act of employee-lending. Find a cause, and volunteer your employees as helpers on Earth Day. They’ll love it!

Lend employees to a green cause

  • Get employees to sign a host of new petitions supporting the environment
  • Go out en masse and plant trees where they are needed
  • Volunteer your employees to help the company next door start their recycling program
  • Descend on a polluted beach and clean it up

These 8 exciting Earth Day activities should set your creative mind ablaze. Combine a few of these ideas or stick to something simple. Whatever you decide – make sure that your employees are engaged and know the significance of sustainable development and going green.

Your green team may have to lead up to Earth Day with discussions, showcases and brain-swarming sessions on how your business can make the most impact. Regular education, green routines and stronger than ever dedication to a sustainable work culture is your goal.

Oh – and Happy 50th Earth Day!

Do you have some Earth Day ideas we didn’t include that you’d like to share? Please leave us a story – we’d love to hear from you.

Have ideas you want to pitch or want to write for Recycle Coach? Email us at partnerships@recyclecoach.com.

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