How Your Office Can Make A Difference on Earth Day 2021

 19 Apr 2021

Our planet needs our help more than ever before to limit climate change and create a more sustainable world. That's why each year, on April 22nd, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day to protect the planet from things like biodiversity loss and pollution. By getting involved in an impressive range of activities such as rallies, talks, games, conferences and projects, participants hope to make the world a healthier, happier place.

The first Earth Day was in 1970 and was the brainchild of Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin. He was inspired to educate the public about the environment after seeing the damage caused by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969.

Over the years, Earth Day has made a huge difference. It helped lead to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of landmark environmental laws in several countries. The Paris Agreement was signed on April 22nd, 2016, and the Biden Administration is convening a global climate summit on Earth Day 2021.

This year is the 51st Earth Day, and the theme is Restore Our Earth. It will focus on emerging green technologies, natural processes and innovative thinking that can help restore the world's ecosystems.

Like last year, most celebrations and activities will occur virtually because the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging in parts of the world. To find out what's happening near you, check out this map.

If you're looking for ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day at work with fellow employees, here are a few pointers:

  1. Pledge to power down. If you know you're going to be away from your desk for an hour or more, power down all devices not in use. It takes less energy to power them up again than it does to keep them running.
  2. Put together a list of work-from-home sustainability tips to help workers practice good sustainability habits while working remotely. Examples include safe disposal of PPE masks and gloves and saying no to disposal items when ordering food online.
  3. Recycle old devices. Give old and outdated equipment a new lease of life by donating them to local charitable organisations and schools.
  4. Commit to buying energy-efficient equipment and furnishing your office space with refurbished furniture.
  5. Go on virtual tours of national parks. Experience the wonders of the natural world without leaving your home or office. Here are several national parks you can discover virtually: Cairngorms National Park, the New Forest National Park and Yellowstone Park.  
  6. Get Involved in the Great British Spring Clean by spending a few minutes litter-picking in streets, parks and beaches.
  7. Invite an expert to speak to your employees about sustainable development.
  8. Challenge colleagues to see how little plastic they can use in a week.
  9. Plant a company garden and grow fruit and vegetables to give you locally sourced food for lunches. 
  10. Host a company-wide donation event. Ask everyone to bring in clothes, toys and other items they no longer need, which can be given to charities.

For more information, tools and resources, visit https://www.earthday.org/.

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