April 22 is Earth Day— a day chosen to celebrate the planet on which we live — its diversity, beauty, environments and sustainability. There is a rapid-fire movement happening within local communities, especially urban ones, to create spaces that will aid in the overall health and well-being of its people, cities and ultimately the planet as a whole. More and more how businesses react to the environment is becoming a factor of consideration in purchasing products and services. Earth Day could be everyday, if you choose it to be.
Participating in this cause can be as individual and self directed as working in your own yard or as organized as a company wide initiative.Whatever you choose to do, just mark the occasion and celebrate. This year’s theme is “Restore our Earth,” and it’s all about reducing our environmental footprint and fixing the damage we’ve already done. At the end view four tips to make your business more earth friendly.
The 5 W's of Earth Day
WHO: YOU! Your family, school community, church group. Your business. Your elected officials. Your local stores. Your business if you own one, and those you frequent. Ask questions. Listen to campaign platforms. Look at packaging and place of origin. Are the choices we make helping to protect our towns and cities?
WHAT: Plant seeds. Buy local. Support farms. Turn off the lights. Unplug unused appliances.Turn OFF the computer and limit screen time. RECYCLE! REUSE! REPURPOSE
DID YOU KNOW: Vampire Power: The electricity used by appliances plugged in but not in use is estimated to account for 1% of global C02 emissions. 1 in 6.25 adults claim they always make an effort to unplug electrical appliances when not using them. source: www.rd.com
WHERE: Look around you. As you sit at your desk, do you have a stack of paper? Where does it go? When you get home, do you throw that coffee cup in the garbage or recycle it? Do you plant flowers and vegetables to help with air quality and our carbon footprint? Does your community offer a space for community gardening? Does your company offer incentives for green commuting?If you’re a business owner, how do you reward and incentivize green best practices?
DID YOU KNOW: If you don’t have an alternative to driving, consider carpooling with a coworker or two. Sharing the ride will drastically reduce the impact on the environment. Don’t forget that carpooling has plenty of other benefits as well. You’ll have a shorter commute, since you and your carpooler(s) will be able to take advantage of the lanes reserved for high occupancy vehicles. You’ll also have more free time during the commute when you’re a passenger; you can read, rest or eat breakfast. source: www.sba.gov
WHEN: Earth Day should be Every day. If we all do something small every day, it will be like raindrops in a barrel. The small things add up! If everyone unplugged their toasters before they left for work or recycled the catalogs in the mail room or planted a tree or placed a rain barrel outside their homes…just think of the possibilities!
DID YOU KNOW: According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and by 2050 some 6.3 billion people will be living in urban areas. In addition, there are at least one billion urban farmers and gardeners around the world, providing food and nutrition to poor and wealthy consumers alike. And urban agriculture produces more than just food—food forests, gardens on rooftops, backyards, balconies, and city parks create green spaces for gardeners and eaters to gather, talk, and eat! source: www.foodtank.com
WHY: Not only locally, but globally, we have a responsibility to this planet to keep it in shape for future generations. It is a living, breathing thing just like our bodies. If we neglect our bodies, we know what happens. Our thought processes should be the same for the places we work and that we call home. Read below to learn 4 ways you can green your business.
4 Tips to Green Your Business
- Commit to Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and include it in your business practices
- Reduce paper use
- Source goods and services from sustainable suppliers
- Make green thinking part of your company’s culture and ethos
Another way to honor the earth is to consider becoming a certified B-Corporation. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Read our article about the basics of B-Corps here.