Today is Earth Day! Hundreds of organizations and millions of people across the United States and around the globe will be celebrating and honoring the wonders of Mother Earth.
In our St. Louis community, the 2nd largest Earth Day celebration in the nation takes place this coming weekend. Our 25th annual Earth Day Festival starts with a family-friendly evening of food and music, followed by entertainment, educational activities, representatives from local businesses and non-profits, and demonstrations of sustainable products. Check out the specifics at www.stlouisearthday.org/events/festival/.
So today is one day of celebration and this weekend is one festival. But to truly make a difference, we have to make every day Earth Day. How can we do it? Here are some simple steps each of us can take that will help preserve, protect and sustain our environment, even in the workplace.
- Schedule Walk and Talks
The next time you need to meet with your team or a colleague, instead of meeting in a conference room or a coffee shop, take a stroll at a park, local track or even just around your office parking lot. We know that walking is good for us and being outside could stimulate additional ideas and action not recognized inside.
- Create Earth Teams
Your teams of colleagues can regularly take hikes or bike rides and pick up trash along the way. Co-workers will build their working relationships as they nourish themselves and the environment.
- Act on Employee Ideas
Ask for and implement employee suggestions on ways to improve the workplace environment and culture.
- Short-Circuit Hidden Energy Wasters
Even if we switch off appliances and electronics, many are still in standby mode, continuing to use electricity. This wastes money, but it also negatively impacts the environment. Unplug appliances and chargers that use energy when they’re not on. And, if you have multiple appliances in the same area, use power strips to more easily regulate electricity. Visit www.earthday.org/takeaction/vampenergy_info.html for more ideas.
- End Junk Mail
We all get ads, magazines, and solicitations that we just recycle or pitch. All that junk mail isn’t just inconvenient. Creating, shipping and disposing of it wastes water, creates tons of greenhouse gasses, and adds to our landfills. Check out these sites to help manage your mail: www.DMAchoice.org and www.catalogchoice.org.
- Recycle Electronics
Each year, the U.S. produces up to 50 million tons of electronics (obsolete or broken cell phones, computers, monitors, TVs, etc.) About 75% ends up in landfills where hazardous chemicals can leach into the soil or be released into the atmosphere. Log on to www.e-steward.org to find the closest electronic recycling facility.
These are just the tip of the (melting?) iceberg when it comes to ways we all can help make sure Every Day is Earth Day. Visit www.earthday.org/takeaction/campaigns.html to see lots more ideas for small steps to nurture Mother Earth.
Whether it’s nature or the workplace, we can build strong teams that contribute to nurturing the environment that supports and sustains us. Click here to contact HR etc!! for more ideas to Turn Workforces into Forces of Nature.
What do you or your workplace do to honor Earth Day Every Day? Leave your comments below!