December 9, 2023

As a lifelong Greenpeace member, avid recycler, owner of two electric cars and a solar home, I do what I can to make the planet a better place. As a recruiter, I love working with companies that are also improving our Mother Earth. As Earth Day approaches on April 22, I’ll share four of my favorite ways to engage my team and show respect for the planet we call home.

voluntary work

Employees volunteer on Earth Day

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Companies can organize volunteer events to clean up litter in parks, beaches, or any other public space—even sponsor roadside trash collections and earn municipal signs. They can encourage employee, customer and community involvement in these activities. EPA also has a “Operation Guide” on its website.

Some employers choose to pay employees for a few hours to a day each year to volunteer in the community. Most employees love getting out in the sun and beautifying their neighborhood.


Women learn green and sustainable practices at work

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Companies can educate employees, customers, and communities about environmental sustainability, the importance of climate change, and how to reduce their ecological footprint.

Before starting to educate employees, it is important to assess current levels of sustainability and recycling. Armed with this information, you’ll know what to teach your employees.

Create a sustainability policy that includes your goals, expectations and program details. Topics that may be covered include reducing waste, saving energy and using environmentally friendly products.

Provide employees with training and resources on sustainability. This can include seminars, 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.

Sustainability Initiative

Sustainable development, earth day, environmental protection concept

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Encourage your employees to get involved in sustainability and recycling efforts. You can do this by setting up recycling bins, offering rewards for environmentally friendly behavior, and recognizing employees who work hard to reduce waste.

Companies can encourage employees to use public transportation, carpool or bike to work, reduce paper, energy and water use in facilities, and implement recycling programs.

Publicly reward an employee’s recycling efforts on a quarterly or monthly basis—a social media campaign, a reusable thermos, or a garden center gift card.


Earth day concept

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Companies can partner with other organizations that share environmental values, such as nonprofits, local universities, and other businesses, to promote environmental protection. Some nonprofit partners can include Habitat for Humanity, which uses recycled building materials, the Goodwill clothing movement, and Soles4Souls shoe donations.

Many universities have adopted recycling and sustainable use policies. You might be able to support their recycling drive or fundraiser to support their university’s technological advancement in these areas.

Finally, you may have heard of World Wildlife Fund, Oceana, and The Nature Conservancy. Conservation organizations can use business partners to spread their message and encourage sustainable and respectful use of our planet’s resources.

I hope these few ideas inspire some earth-friendly, employer-sponsored initiatives for your group!

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