Earth Day Ideas for Companies and Their Employees

With many employees still working from home or remotely, companies need to adjust their approach to sustainability in the workplace. Your sustainability program may need new green initiatives and more involvement from your employees since their homes have become part of your carbon footprint. This article discusses some Earth Day ideas for employees, tactics for engaging workers from home and encouraging them to do their part in protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions to fight climate change.

Use Earth Day For Employee Engagement

With Earth Day fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how we can use this day to both set some time aside to care for the planet, but more importantly remind your employees that your company is committed to being more sustainable and protecting the earth. Everyone needs to do their part and that includes employees working from home. Here are some tips for employees on what you can do to make a direct impact on Earth Day and every day after that.  Use April 22nd as the day you raise awareness of your commitment and the specifics of any sustainability program your company may home.

32 Earth Day Activities for At-Home Workers

A great way  to do your part on Earth day is look for ways around you to go green and improve your carbon footprint. There are lots of easy ways to improve the green impact of your home. For example:

  1. Plant something outside your home
  2. Make or improve a home recycling system
  3. Make or improve a home composting system
  4. Switch to efficient lights.  Note: In some states like Massachusetts, energy-efficient lightbulbs are provided at no charge by the state government
  5. Switch to lower-pressure and more efficient showers and faucets
  6. Safely recycle electronics or batteries
  7. Donate used goods or furniture
  8. Stop using plastic bags, bring reusable bags on your shopping trips
  9. Make a commitment to not buying single-use plastic bottles
  10. Make a commitment to not using disposable straws
  11. Find and use alternatives to tupperware or disposable take-out packaging
  12. Switch to a green energy service often available for a premium from utility companies
  13. Turn off & unplug electronic devices when not in use
  14. Print less often and switch to paperless communication and billing
  15. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving
  16. Educate yourself by watching videos or listening to podcasts on climate change and sustainability
  17. Borrow an item from a friend or family member instead of buying new
  18. Return an item to the manufacturer for resale, e.g. REI or Patagonia offer this
  19. Eliminate plastic silverware and paper plates
  20. Only drink water from a reusable bottle or cup
  21. Purchase groceries from a local farm or farmer’s  market 
  22. Upcycle – take something you don’t use and instead of  throwing it find it a new purpose
  23. Teach your family members or friends about good green habits 
  24. Create a library box in your neighborhood 
  25. Switch to an electric vehicle or hybrid
  26. Switch to battery-powered lawn equipment
  27. Replace your HVAC with a more efficient unit
  28. Get solar power on your roof
  29. Replace your gas water heater with an electrified hot water pump
  30. Volunteer locally
  31. Help clean up your neighborhood
  32. Find a green cause locally and get involved

Simply taking time to notice little things that can be improved is the first step, and Earth Day is the perfect time to do so. Once you improve your habits and become more eco-friendly, get others to do the same.

Gamification of Activities for Employees

Sometimes making an activity fun or making it a contest can help energize people. Creating a point system or rewards program for employees who are attempting to align themselves with the company’s green mission statement is an effective way to motivate employees. A point-based system could weigh the different objectives, with more difficult tasks rewards more points. At your discretion, some type of rewards like gift cards could be implemented, or simply the spirit of competition might be enough to get your workforce involved. 

Donating To Earth Day Causes

One of the simplest and most direct ways you can do your part on Earth day is to donate to a green cause. The Earth Day website will accept donations, or there are a multitude of local organizations looking to make an environmental impact that can always use support. Should you rather donate your time, once again the Earth Day website is a great place to start. There are hundreds of different clean up projects happening on Earth Day, both across the United States, and globally. Additionally, you can always just head to a local park or even the street around your neighborhood and pick up any garbage you find. These options are great ways to do something that has a direct and tangible impact on the environment. 

Sustainability Employee Education

Weekly or monthly webinars or video chat meetings specifically dedicated to helping inform employees of the importance of your green plan, the importance of green business as a whole, and what they can do to help. These meetings can be a great place to explain exactly what your organization is trying to do to help the planet, and showcase the work you’re already doing. Additionally, this can be a spot to coach employees on how to approach sustainability measures from home. 

Earth Day Activities for Employees: Great Idea, But Not Enough

It is important both as an individual and a company, that working remotely does not slow down our work towards bettering the planet. Everyone needs to work towards having a net positive environmental impact, and Earth Day 2021 is a great place to stop and re-examine how you plan to accomplish your goals and how to best engage your employees to do the same. Use our list of Earth Day activities and ideas for employees to help create a purpose-driven culture and support your company’s larger sustainability mission.

About the Author

Travers Schelleng

GBB Green Ambassador

Travers Schelleng is a content writer for Green Business Bureau who is looking to actively promote sustainability within the foodservice industry. With over a decade of restaurant expertise, he is currently working to help small businesses get a foothold in sustainability initiatives. Outside of work, Travers is passionate about music, film, and cooking.

Leave a Reply