Earth Day: Inspiring an Environmentally-Responsible Workplace
On April 22nd, this year's Earth Day will focus on ways to curb the growing pollution problem caused by disposable plastics. What better way to inspire a healthy working environment for your team than by encouraging them to take part in some Earth Day activities at work?
Why participating in Earth Day can be important
According to Paul Hiebert in his YouGov.us article titled “Most youth show concern for how their daily lives affect the planet,” young Americans are more concerned about their impact on the environment than older generations. In fact, 59 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 expressed concern about how their daily activities such as purchasing groceries and commuting to work affected the environment, compared to only 49 percent of Gen X and 39 percent of Baby Boomers.
Moreover, as Deep Patel states in his Forbes article “Big Brands and Businesses Are Aligning Their Missions With Millennial and Gen Z Consumers,” the overwhelming majority of Millennials want to work for companies that include sustainability practices as a part of their overall missions.
In short, the environment is important to Gen Z and Millennials. That’s why organizing some Earth Day activities at work isn’t just a good way to raise environmental awareness; it can also help enhance engagement among your younger employees.
Sample Earth Day activities
Depending on how many resources and how much time you can dedicate to Earth Day, there are various activities you can organize. Here are a few suggestions:
- Create an office plastic reduction plan with your team: Take a day to work through the Earth Day Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit with your team. This will inform them about the harmful effects of plastics on the environment and provide suggestions to reduce or even eliminate your use of plastics at the office. For example, you could swap out plastic straws for paper ones and create a plastics recycling bin.
- Host a company teach-in event: If you want to make more of an impact, why not have your team educate the rest of the company about the dangers of plastic pollution? You can even invite speakers or host a panel discussion. The End Plastic Pollution Teach-In Toolkit features a step-by-step explanation of how to host a teach-in-event.
- Organize or participate in another type of event: There are many more things you can do to celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness about plastic pollution. For example, you could organize a social media campaign, spend a day removing plastics from a park or beach, or attend a larger Earth Day event such as a festival or march. Download the Earth Day Action Toolkit for more ideas.
Clearly, the majority of younger employees are eager for their employers and team leaders to demonstrate that they care about the planet we all live and work on. With these ideas for celebrating Earth Day, you can exhibit the kind of leadership that will resonate positively with your team for days, months, and years to come.