Earth Day is fast approaching! Our society has become more conscious of many important issues, and as a leader of a community or business, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know just how you can participate in each one. Earth Day is celebrated each year to raise awareness for the health of our planet – but if you don't already have something planned, don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered! We’re laying out some simple ways you can increase awareness about Earth Day in your community and how you can even make some changes in your organization today to make it more sustainable.
First, you may be wondering: what exactly is sustainability? In simple terms, sustainability means meeting our needs (which can be as simple as food and water) without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This is especially important when you work with your community because you’re directly contributing to shaping what it will look like for future generations.
It just so happens that this year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in our Planet”, which illustrates how we all have a role to play in ensuring the health and prosperity of our planet so that our kids and their kids can thrive. With environmental issues becoming more and more important, it’s time to ask: what will you do? But there’s no need to stress because we’ve rounded up some easy strategies that your organization can start implementing right now to make a difference. Ready, set, Earth Day!
It’s never too early to teach kids about the importance of investing in our planet to build a more sustainable world. Informed kids become environmentally conscious adults. After all, they are the ones who will shape the future!
Here are a few ways you can integrate Earth Day into your children’s programming:
- Create a nature scavenger hunt: Make a list of things found in nature, then send teams out into a park or neighborhood to find them! To save paper, have participants keep the lists on their phone.
- Garbage pick-up activity: Head to the dollar store and grab some of those pick-up sticks and send kids out in groups to gather as much as they can! For an extra teachable moment, at the end of the activity you can show them how to sort the items they found into recycling, compost, and garbage!
- At the end of all programs, ensure your staff teach the kids about the importance of recycling the materials used and the ones that weren’t used!
- Have fun with an art project: Extra bonus if you can find items to reuse to make the art – for example, use toilet paper rolls to make trees or jar caps to make safety clip buttons for school bag decoration!
Easy switches you can make and actions you can take today
- Avoid printing unless necessary (that means no handouts for meetings!) - projectors, PDFs and emails are your friends!
- Use reusable bags to transport materials
- Use online billing to accept payments for programs and pay staff (SmartRec can help with this – read more here)
- Switch to reusable cutlery and plates instead of paper ones
- Encourage your staff to walk or bike to work (to sweeten the deal, you can put bike stations in place or subsidize public transportation passes)
- Switch to LED lightbulbs in your offices
Hopefully, you now feel less stressed about creating sustainable programming and implementing actions for your organization this Earth Day! Of course, this list could go on forever. There is so much more you can do, and every little bit counts, but we hope this gave you some ideas. Whether you’re celebrating at home or with others, there are tons of things you can do to show your support for this great planet of ours. We want to hear what you’re up to, so tag us on social media with the hashtag #AmiliaInAction!