Earth Day is celebrated every April around the world. It’s a day to do something good for the planet and this year Earth Day lands on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Earth Day was established 45 years ago as a reminder to look after the planet and pledge to reduce our individual footprint. Recycling, reducing the consumption of goods, using sustainable energy sources, using transit, are all actions that do not need to be limited to one day. And they don’t need to be just for show. They can be adopted into your everyday life and part of your management philosophy.
But when all the fun, games and tree plantings have finished, where does that leave you?
Here are just some of the green management ideas you can adopt this Earth Day, and every day, in your business:
- Discourage unnecessary driving. Set up a carpool for your employees, or encourage them to take public transportation or ride bikes. Provide a place to lock bikes safely and change out of biking clothes.
- To help protect air quality, encourage telecommuting, where employees can work from home a few days a month. Employees love this perk as much as the planet does.
- Set up a recycling program. Place bins around the office to collect paper, cans and bottles.
- Get involved. Give your employees time off to volunteer for green activities, or do so as a team. Sponsor or participate in environmentally-oriented community events.
- Save energy. Ask all employees to unplug phone chargers and turn off lights when they are not using them.
- Reuse, reuse, reuse. Provide your employees with a reusable cup or glass for their water or coffee. Even better, make it branded. If you run a hospitality business, reward the customers that bring reusable containers to your business.
- It’s in the bag. Canadians use billons of plastic bags every year. Why not provide your employees and your customers with branded reusable bags, or substitutes to plastic such as paper bags
- Reduce your paper trail. Request for bills to be sent electronically. Offer to email clients receipts instead of paper. Shred paper for composting. Use old envelopes or unused documents for scratch pads.
Climate change affects most aspects of our lives in Canada. Our economic, social and general well-being are all linked, both directly and indirectly, to climate. The crops we grow, the spread of disease, the availability of water and our infrastructure. Our vulnerability to the climate costs us both in time and in money. Just consider the costs of BC’s summer wildfires, the Alberta floods and the East Coast’s most recent cold spell. Each have had a significant impact on our local economies.
Stop procrastinating and make a difference. Make Earth Day the day you decide to support the planet.