As a lifelong member of Greenpeace, an avid recycler, owner of two EVs, and a solar-powered home, I do all I can to make the planet a better place. As a recruiter, I enjoy engaging with companies who also are improving our Mother Earth. With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I am sharing my top four favorite ways to engage my team and show respect to the planet we call home.
Companies can organize volunteer events to clean litter in a park, beach, or any other public place—even sponsor a roadway litter collection and be recognized with a municipal sign. They can encourage their employees, customers, and communities to participate in these events. The EPA also has a “how-to guide” on its website.
Some employers choose to pay their employees a few hours to one day a year to volunteer for their community. Most employees would love to step outside in the sunshine and spruce up their community.
Companies can educate their employees, customers, and communities about the importance of environmental sustainability, climate change, and how they can reduce their ecological footprint.
Before you start educating your employees, it's important to assess the current level of sustainability and recycling. Armed with this information, you will know what to teach your employees.
Create a sustainability policy with details of your goals, expectations, and procedures. Possible topics to cover could include reducing waste, conserving energy, and using eco-friendly products.
Provide employees with training and resources on sustainability. This can include workshops, presentations, videos, and handouts. You can also create an online Earth-friendly resource center with information on best practices, recycling guidelines, and eco-friendly products.
Encourage your employees to participate in sustainability and recycling efforts. You can do this by setting up recycling bins, providing incentives for eco-friendly behavior, and recognizing employees who make an effort to reduce waste.
Companies can provide incentives for their employees to use public transportation, carpool, or bike to work, reduce the use of paper, energy, and water in their facilities, and implement recycling programs.
Publicly reward one employee per quarter or month for their recycling efforts—a social media shout-out, a reusable water thermos, or a gift card to a garden center.
Companies can partner with other organizations that share their environmental values, such as non-profit groups, local universities, and other businesses, to promote environmental conservation. Some non-profit partners could include Habitat for Humanity using recycled building materials, a Goodwill clothing drive, and a Soles4Souls shoe donation.
Many universities have already embraced recycling and sustainable use policies. You might be able to support their recycling drives or fundraising events to support their colleges that are making technological advances in these areas.
Finally, you’ve likely heard of the World Wildlife Fund, Oceana, and the Nature Conservancy. Conservation groups can use business partners to spread their message and encourage sustainable and respectful use of our planet’s resources.
I hope these few ideas spark some Earth-friendly, employer-sponsored initiatives for your team!
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