In the spirit of this mission, celebrating Earth Day in the office is a great way to encourage employees to break up their days and to try something new. It’s also an excellent path to encouraging philanthropic efforts and doing socio-economic good as an organization, both of which are increasingly important to employee satisfaction. If you care about the environment and want a way to motivate and engage employees, these three Earth Day activities are for you. (And don't forget to document your Earth Day celebrations to share on your social networks!)
Organize an Employee Celebration
One of the easiest ways to celebrate Earth Day in your office is to organize an employee event around it. Use this day as an opportunity to define and support your business or corporation’s environmental goals—for the day, and the year to come. help reduce employee usage of plastic bottles, and you could consider giving your employees a similar item such as reusable cup, straw, or tote bag. You could also replace all plastic kitchenware such as plates, cutlery, etc with biodegradable/compostable brands such as Ecovita, Green Paper Products, and Green Home.
Start a Contest
Use some friendly competition to your advantage and start an in-office contest this Earth Day. Set a timeline of one or two months, and see who in your office can:
Recycle the most plastic
Reduce their team's consumption of paper
Find the most creative replacements for common everyday work items
Devise the best business strategy for reducing the company’s carbon footprint (think big here!)
In addition to being fun, this is also a great way to create lasting change in your organization. Be sure to have a fun prize for the winner and all participants!
Create an Earth Day Photo Album
Grab a few pieces of paper and a printer, and use them to create an Earth Day photo album. You can print out images from your computer or even go out into the world and take pictures of something green in your community. Find some cool scrapbooking materials at any local craft store, like stickers, ribbon, beads and more. Then get creative with how you want to decorate the pages - glue everything down or tie it up with ribbons!
Downsize your Footprint
Have you ever stopped for a second and analyzed your daily footprint? It’s time to do that. Try to think about what you use and how much of it is used in a day. How many cups of water, paper towels, disposable dishes? Make sure you are only buying items if they will be used on an ongoing basis or could be easily recycled. Remember not to buy things just because they have a nice package!
Create an Environmental Poster
Brainstorm with your team about how you want to save the planet. Make a list of ideas and choose the ones that you think are most achievable for your group. Once your team has settled on an idea, make a poster about it! For example, maybe someone wants to get their company involved in recycling or someone else wants to create less plastic packaging in grocery stores by having shoppers bring their own containers when they buy food.
Make sure that everyone who is away from a computer for more than two hours shuts down completely. The surge of energy needed to power up is still way less energy than keeping the computer running for long periods of time.
Commit to a Reusable Coffee Cup
Saving five cups and lids over the course of a week amounts to nearly 300 during the year. Multiply that times the number of people who work just in your office, and it quickly adds up. Give everyone in the office a company-branded mug on Earth Day to reinforce the message.
Add More Recycling Bins
Studies show sizable increases in recycling participation with more bins that are easily accessible. Send a note to co-workers to make sure they know where the bins are located.
Host a Drive to Collect E-waste
It’s estimated that only 12.5 percent of e-waste (tech hardware like old computers) is being recycled today, and that e-waste represents more than 70 percent of the toxic waste in landfills. Get your entire office park or building involved for good measure.
Use a Recyclable Water Bottle
The U.S. alone consumes more than 50 billion plastic water bottles annually. Get rid of plastic cups around the office water cooler. Hand out company-branded water bottles if you want to help the cause even more.
Plan a Telecommute Day
Go outside the office norm and do a work-from-home day in honor of Earth Day. You’ll save lots of energy in the process.
Arrange an Office-wide Carpool Day
Carpooling is one of the best Earth Day activities. For work, errands, shopping trips and more, choosing to ride with a friend to reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption has benefits that add up quickly.
Raise Money for a Local Environmental Group
Pick a worthy group in the community that empowers earth-friendly practices such as a nature conservancy or environmental action organization. The company can match employee donations.
Go on a Hike
Get outside and get some fresh air with your family, friends, or loved ones. If you live in an area with plenty of hiking trails, try out someplace new and take in the views. Bring a sturdy reusable bag with you, so as you walk, you can pick up any trash you see along the way. Not sure of where to hike close to your home? Alltrails can easily help you find a hiking trailnear you, just enter your city to get started. You can actually search for trails by trail distance, rating, difficulty level, and even kid or dog-friendly paths!
Go Bird Watching
Bird watching is a great way to get in touch with your local ecosystem, and really reinforces why preserving our planet is so important. Try downloading Sibley’s eGuide to Birds App on your phone. It features a simple eGuide to birds, convenient bird call recordings, and beautiful, full-color identification guides to the birds you’re most likely to see in your area. Plus, you can record your sightings and share them with your friends. You can also try the Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab App, which easily helps you identify the types of birds that you've seen on your route through answering a few simple questions.
Sign up for a class
There are lots of local Earth Day activities for adults that feature classes on recycling, gardening, composting, and more. Check with local environmental organizations to see what is available in your area.
Plant a tree
While this seems one of the simplest Earth Day project ideas, the act of planting a tree has so many benefits. You’re creating a new habitat for wildlife, helping to clean the air, and replacing resources that have been used.
Start a garden
Gardening has lots of benefits that help to give back to the earth. Adding gardening to Earth Day activities for adults will help you to clean the air, eat sustainably, and even help reduce erosion.
Host a dinner party
Invite your friends over and serve local, organic foods for a delicious, nutritious meal that features sustainable, healthy options while you chat about Earth Day activities. For work, you can have a potluck lunch, with the rule that everyone’s dish must be farm-to-table food.
Lend a hand to a local eco-friendly charity
Volunteer yours or everyone in the team your time to help support local efforts to protect the environment. They may need people to staff tables at events, manual labor during planned Earth Day activities, or other support.
Earth Day is a critical holiday, now more than ever. It’s also one that should be celebrated by both adults and children. This year, bring Earth Day into your home, office, community, and volunteer hours with these fun ideas. What activities can you do this Earth Day to promote a greener lifestyle?