This Wednesday, April 22nd is Earth Day. In fact, it’s the 50th anniversary of the occasion that calls upon us all to remember the importance of reusing and recycling. Although this is an important thing to keep in mind on a daily basis, preserving the Earth’s resources and protecting our environment from pollution are two key messages brought forth from the Earth Day initiative.
At a time like this, when the Earth is hurting because of the coronavirus, it may be difficult to acknowledge Earth Day with your employees and co-workers. Many businesses remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many others have their employees working from home. So what can you do to celebrate Earth Day as a company?
Eliminate the use of paper.
If your team members are working from home, they are undoubtedly taking advantage of modern technology. In 2020, who isn’t adept at using a computer, tablet or smartphone to communicate with others? Who isn’t sending emails instead of shipping letters in the mail? Reiterate the importance of going digital every time you communicate with members of your team. Hopefully, you’re making use of video conferencing apps to stay in touch.
“It’s easy to print out your e-mails or copy a pdf presentation for 30 people without ever considering the trees and the energy it takes to create those crisp, white sheets,” notes Inc.com, “It doesn\’t have to be this way. Paperless contracts are real, and their popularity is growing more every day.”
Host an Earth Day contest.
Who can conserve the most energy on your team? Come up with a way to have that question answered and offer a reward, of some kind, to the winner of an Earth Day contest. Perhaps the contest can involve having your staff members submit their ideas for best ways to reuse, recycle and conserve energy in the office. This can work even if your team members aren’t in the office at the moment. Request email submissions and remind your team about the importance of going green at home.
“Use some friendly competition to your advantage and start an in-office contest this Earth Day,” suggests Ygrene.com, “Set a timeline of one or two months, and see who in your office can: Recycle the most plastic; Reduce their team\’s consumption of paper; Find the most creative replacements for common everyday work items; Devise the best business strategy for reducing the company’s carbon footprint (think big here!)”
Work without lights.
The daylight provided by the April sun should be more than enough to complete a day’s worth of work. You don’t need to wait until Wednesday to try it. Encourage your staff to turn out the lights while they’re working from home. If you’re still working in the office, see if there’s a way to open up the windows to allow in more natural light so that you can use less electricity.
“Overhead lighting is the biggest electricity hog in the typical commercial building, and the traditional T12 (1.5-inch) fluorescent tube dates from the 1930s,” informs Inc.com, “Moreover, the heat generated by such bulbs taxes the building\’s cooling system.”
Happy Earth Day everyone!