4 ways organizations can do Earth Day right
Apr 22, 2014

Do you know how your company or organization is going to participate in Earth Day this year?

Earth Day originally began as a way to improve public awareness and concern for the environment. An astonishing 20 million Americans participated nationwide in various marches and demonstrations on behalf of the environment during the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Today, with over 1 billion people participating annually in various Earth Day celebrations worldwide, it has become the largest civic observance in the world!

Still, even after 40 years of Earth Days, a lot of organizations still struggle as they try to appeal to a more eco-conscious market. You’ll see lots of pictures in social media posts online of organizations and their respective employees out planting trees and picking up litter this Earth Day…That’s all great, but unless the organization has actually improved its overall sustainability in its daily operations, those well-intentioned efforts aren’t going to amount to a hill of beans.

The good news, though, is that improving an organization’s sustainability and environmental stewardship isn’t difficult and the benefits of doing so have been proven time and again.

4 key areas all organizations should focus on this Earth Day – and every day

1. Use less energy

Energy consumption represents the largest utility cost to most organizations; and depending on the fuel source, it could also be the largest factor in an organization’s overall carbon footprint. Determining how much energy your organization uses is the first step. Consider benchmarking your energy usage, or go even deeper and conduct an onsite energy audit. The information gathered will help inform you of the most effective energy efficiency projects your organization should use to reduce its energy usage.

2. Use less water

It’s likely that your organization could reduce its overall water usage by as much as 40%. Better water management will reduce water utility costs, save energy, prolong the operational life of equipment and lower maintenance costs. A water audit will reveal all those hard-to-find places where you’re ending up paying for water you never use.

3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Better waste management can save organizations thousands of dollars each year in trash disposal costs. Enrolling in a recycling program greatly reduces the solid waste sent to landfills. Some businesses are fortunate to have a composting program, too. Since paper waste is usually the largest source of waste in most offices, consider reducing the use of paper and maintaining as close to a paperless office environment as possible. Use only recycled paper and print using soy ink whenever possible. Be sure to properly sort and separate all recyclables from the trash.

4. Use more renewable energy

If your organization is able to choose its electricity supplier, consider having a portion or all of your electricity sourced by renewables or hosting a community solar garden.

If you think we missed anything be sure to let us know in the comments.

So, what do you think about Earth Day? Do you think your organization could benefit from being more environmentally responsible, or do you think Earth Day is all a bunch of hoopla?

Happy Earth Day!

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