Remember how much fun you had as a kid celebrating Earth Day?
The entire school came together for a worthy cause and many of us were just excited about a day not spent learning algebra or having to remember the state capitals.
There is no doubt that the average working adult feels the same way, at least in respect to devoting time to something other than our 9 to 5, so what better reason to ditch the spreadsheets and meetings for a day taking care of our environment?
Celebrating Earth Day at the office can help boost morale, as Steve Strauss writes in this USA Today article, by combining team building exercises with employees’ own eco-conscious interests.
It’s also a great way for businesses to get involved with their local community, increasing visibility with potential customers and clients!
There are many different ways for a company to dedicate time caring for our planet. Here are just some of the possibilities.
The Tried and True
There are a variety of national and local organizations that offer pre-organized events, making them perfect for the company who wants to show up and get to work.
Check out the highway clean up (the gold standard of Earth Day celebrations) offered by the Sierra Club’s Pennsylvania Chapter.
Don those gloves, a reflective vest, and spend a few hours picking up trash along a stretch of roadway. Not your thing?
The American Rivers Organization offers river clean ups to help combat the pollution threatening our fish and wildlife habitats.
For businesses wanting to turn it up a notch, look for organizations that will help you facilitate your own Earth Day event!
According to their website, The National Wildlife Federation “supports corporate employee volunteer programs and provides a variety of ways for corporations and their employees to engage in a variety of our programs.”
They offer half-day service projects, participating in activities like park restorations and wildlife habitat creation.
Additionally, the Earth Day Initiative regularly coordinates events that combine environmental organizations and community businesses in a variety of green and sustainability projects.
If you want to get creative this Earth Day and do your own thing, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate with your co-workers.
Hosting a clothing or electronics recycling drive is a great way to clean-out those closets, do some spring cleaning, conserve natural resources, and donate to a good cause.
The EPA has some great information here on how to best recycle electronics.
Another low-key idea is to host a “green” themed day, where employees can donate money to dress-down, throw-on their best green outfits, or bring in green snacks.
Funds raised can then be donated to the environmental cause of your choice.
Donations made to The Audubon Society support their work across five core priorities: Coasts, Climate, Working Lands, Water, and Bird-Friendly Communities.
Groups such as The Nature Conservancy focus on building healthy cities, protecting land & water, providing food & water sustainably, and tackling climate change.
While both organizations are great supporters of conservatism, all it takes is a quick web search to find one best suited to you.
It might also be worth checking to see if your employer offers a company match, making that hard-earned money do even more good.
Lastly, what better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting outside? Take a walk at lunch or take the afternoon off for a company-wide bike ride at a local state park. Like getting your hands dirty?
Try contacting a local farm! There’s always plenty to do for even the most inexperienced: weeding, spreading compost, gathering eggs, all are daily tasks found on many small farms.
The experience can be both rewarding and educational, compelling us to think about our impact on this earth in the small choices we make every day.
Whatever it looks like for you, observing Earth Day can be just as much fun now as it was when you were a kid.
No matter how big or small the effort, it’s never a bad idea to spend time caring for the planet and each other. Check out https://www.earthday.org for more information on how to celebrate.