Whether you’re honoring an upcoming Earth Day or simply looking for ideas to support and celebrate our planet, use our list of Earth Day ideas for offices and virtual teams.
Every year, on April 22nd, people from around the world celebrate Earth Day. What was developed in 1970 as a day to give voice to an emerging environmental movement is now a global affair. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our beautiful planet, promote sustainability, and improve the habits that negatively impact the Earth.
There are plenty of Earth Day events to participate in and many ways you can contribute as an individual or business. In this post, we’ll suggest Earth Day activities for work, including Earth Day office ideas, Earth Day virtual events, and activities for remote teams.
Earth Day Ideas For Work
Review Your Recycle Policies
There’s no time like the present, especially with Earth Day on the horizon, to review your company’s recycling policies. Do you have policies in place? Are they correct? Make sure your team is recycling properly and that the correct items are going into the garbage and recycle bins.
Wishcycling, or aspirational recycling, is a huge problem. We want to recycle as many items as possible, but this leads to items that can’t actually be recycled contaminating those that can. A greasy pizza box or unclean food container can contaminate an otherwise perfectly recyclable batch of materials.
If it has grease, food, dirt, or glass shards, it can’t be recycled. Look into your city’s recycling practices to ensure your business follows best practices.
Are your recycling policies being followed? Review your recycling program and ask for feedback from your team. Are they using the provided recycle bins? Is there any confusion around what can or can’t be recycled?
Put up fun office signs as a reminder in the kitchen and anywhere else you have recycling bins available. Download our free recycling signs .
Make an Office Earth Day Donation
Show the Earth some appreciation by donating to Earth Day or another worthy cause. You can do this on behalf of the company or along with support from your team. If you ask your team to participate financially, match their contributions from the business.
Get input from your team on what type of organization or cause they would like to support. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Go Meatless as a Team
Animal agriculture requires large amounts of land and water, and the process produces greenhouse gas emissions. Going meatless, even occasionally, can help reduce our negative impact on the environment.
With Earth Day on the horizon, look for ways to consume less meat as a team. Consider treating your team to a vegetarian lunch. There are plenty of meatless options for delicious foods such as tacos, burritos, pasta, pizza, and salads. Remember to support local businesses in your area. (Read our 9 Best Lunch Spots in Huntsville, Alabama.)🍔
If your team is up for it, turn your meatless goals into a friendly competition. How many days over the next week or month can individuals go meatless? Offer incentives for participation and success.
Encourage Outdoor/Walking Meetings
We could all benefit from getting outside a little more often. Spending time outdoors is good for your mental health, mood, immune system, and much more. Getting outside is good for you, and immersing yourself in nature will help you appreciate it.
As a business or manager, encourage your team to get outside more often. Offer breaks that are long enough to take a short walk outside, and encourage outdoor meetings. Two people or small teams can set meetings in a park or outdoor setting. If all parties are up for a walk, schedule a walking meeting through a nearby park or neighborhood. The outdoor setting will offer a conversation starter, the health benefits of being outside, and some exercise.
Clean Up a Park or Neighborhood
Garbage lying around your neighborhood looks bad, and it can pose harm to plants and animals. Use Earth Day as an opportunity to clean up a nearby area. Choose somewhere close to your business so that your team can see the impact of their efforts.
Picking up garbage is a team building exercise that helps the Earth, gets your team outside, and improves your community. Supply your team with everything they need to clean up safely, including gloves and garbage bags. Ask for their input on which nearby area they would like to clean up.
If your team works remotely, challenge them to take a small bit of time out of their workday to clean up an area near their home.
Have Trees Planted On Behalf of Your Team
Having trees planted is a simple yet impactful way to commemorate Earth Day. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, which helps combat climate change and all of the damage that has already been done.
Businesses can make a donation to have trees planted on behalf of the company or involve the whole team in a fundraiser to give a larger donation. Many organizations will plant one tree for every dollar donated. Some organizations that plant trees include:
Be Mindful With Earth Day Coloring Pages
Take some time away from your busy and stressful workday for a mindfulness activity. Drawing or coloring is relaxing and good for your mental health. Plus, it forces your team to take a break away from the computer screen.
Allow your team to take a break from their regular work with a creative session complete with Earth Day coloring sheets. Have them available around the break room or schedule a team building session where the full team or smaller teams can color together. If your team works remotely, send them Earth Day coloring sheets to print at home for themselves. They can color alone or bring their families into the activity.
Participate in Earth Day Events
There are virtual and in-person events taking place all around the world. Visit the Earth Day website to look for an online event or one taking place near you. Do some research into what’s going on in your local community. Are there local events you can contribute to or participate in? How can you bring Earth Day celebrations, education, and support to your community?
Challenge your friends, customers, and other business leaders in your community to give back and participate in Earth Day along with you.
Virtual Earth Day Ideas
Plant Potting Virtual Party
Virtual team building is incredibly important for engagement, motivation, and morale. Earth Day can be used as an opportunity to prioritize a fun team building activity that will bring people together around something other than work. We suggest a virtual planting party.
Send employees planting kits in advance with everything they need. Host a virtual meeting where you can plant seeds together that will grow and blossom over the coming months. Herbs are a great option since they are simple to maintain and offer a practical use once they’re grown. For full Earth Day support, avoid purchasing from Amazon or big box stores and instead buy from local businesses or individuals.
🌿 Check out these garden kits available on Etsy.
Wear Green Zoom Day
Ask your team to wear green for your next Zoom meeting in support of Earth Day. Make sure you take a photo of your remote team dressed in green to share on your business’s social media accounts.
Ensure the day includes either some form of education or a way to give back. For example, your business could donate to an environmental organization or plant a number of trees based on how many people wear green.
Challenge Your Team to Get Outside
People who work from home can fall into the bad habit of staying inside all day. Without the small commute to work, remote workers may miss out on the outdoors completely from one day to the next. And with so many delivery options available, it’s not uncommon for a full day or multiple days to go by without taking a step outside.
Going outside has a number of positive health benefits, including improving your mood, concentration, and immune system. It's great for your mental health, and it forces you to take a much needed break from the computer screen.
Challenge your remote team to explore and appreciate the great outdoors around Earth Day. How many days in a row can they take a short walk outside? Add some incentive by encouraging your team to spend time outside or to take a short walk on company time. Use it as a conversation starter by asking your team to share recent outdoor experiences, such as noticing tree buds appear, hearing birds, or spotting a busy squirrel.
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