Every year on April 22, the world comes together to celebrate Earth Day, and each Earth Day has a specific theme. The 2022 Earth Day theme, “Invest in Our Planet”, focuses on eco-friendly business ideas for companies to do their part in protecting the planet. Working together, individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses can make an impact and support the environment. Join the effort with these eco-friendly business ideas to celebrate Earth Day 2022.
How Businesses Can “Invest in Our Planet”
Eco-friendly policies at work reduce the impact businesses have on the environment, from cutting back on waste to saving on resources at the office. Adopting eco-friendly business ideas doesn’t just help the planet. It can also support your business. An increasing number of studies show that employers actually prefer a sustainable workplace and will choose companies with eco-friendly policies. It’s a win-win! Whether you run your own company or want to share some suggestions with your team, check out these eco-friendly ideas for businesses to invest in our planet this Earth Day.
1. Provide recycled paper
Americans use 85 million tons of paper each year, which adds up to about 680 tons of paper per person! A business can significantly reduce its impact on the planet by using recycled paper instead of traditionally manufactured paper. Each ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water.
2. Encourage recycling in the office
Businesses should make it as easy as possible for workers to recycle while in the office. How? Make recycling bins clearly visible to employees by placing them in optimal locations. You can also remind employees by putting paper recycling close to copy rooms. Then put bins for plastics in any break room areas. When in doubt, poll employees and ask where they think bins should go.
Why not make it a fun challenge? Organize weekly recycling challenges with incentives for winners. Set monthly recycling targets to get employees involved and excited about new recycling initiatives.
3. Offer compost
Composting encourages employees to get involved in eco-friendly initiatives while reducing waste at work. The process reuses food waste by turning it into a soil-like material to fertilize gardens or farms. Businesses can set up an office composting system, like vermicomposters or bin systems, where employees can dispose of food waste in a more eco-friendly way. A little effort goes a long way: the EPA estimates that composting reduced municipal solid waste by 25 million tons in 2018.
4. Use motion-sensor lights to save energy
Businesses can cut down on their electricity bill and energy consumption with motion-sensor lights. This type of lighting system automatically turns off the lights when people leave the room. The simple eco-friendly idea can save an average of 30% of energy and between 13 to 90% on lighting energy costs.
5. Cover public transportation costs
Vehicles contribute significantly to carbon emissions. In fact, a typical motor vehicle emits around 4.6 metric tons of CO₂ a year. Businesses can do their part to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging employees to carpool to the office or take public transportation. Businesses that cover public transportation, through vouchers, transit passes, or debit cards, also benefit from tax breaks through the commuter benefits program.
6. Use second-hand office supplies
Manufacturing and shipping new office supplies uses a significant amount of fossil fuels. Rather than buy brand new, businesses can furnish their office with second-hand supplies. Previously used doesn’t have to compromise quality, either. Office plants, furniture, and artwork sold on places like Facebook Marketplace and other online communities often look good as new!
7. Partner with green businesses
They say teamwork makes the dream work! Businesses who share a common goal of saving the planet can work together to make it happen. Encourage your company to partner with other eco-friendly organizations, from sourcing recycled materials to using web hosting powered by renewable energy. Spread awareness among green businesses to follow a circular economy business model, which focuses on sustainable business practices.
8. Use sustainable packaging
Packaging can create a lot of waste and eliminating overall plastic use in packaging is key. Depending on the industry, businesses can explore many options to make their product packaging more sustainable. Eliminate single-use packaging wherever possible. Using compostable or biodegradable materials can go a long way to make a difference.
9. Bottleless water coolers
Humans use about 1.2 million plastic bottles per minute! Businesses can easily cut back on single-use plastic bottles by installing bottleless water coolers.
Using just one bottleless water cooler in an office replaces about 7,000 plastic bottles. Plus, companies with around 50 employees can reduce their CO₂ emissions by about 53% a year when they replace their 5-gallon water jugs coolers with bottleless water coolers, or by up to 95% when using a bottleless water cooler in place of single-use plastic bottles.
Installing bottleless water coolers doesn’t just save the planet, it also saves money. Want to know how much? Explore the environmental benefits of bottleless water coolers using this cost comparison calculator.
When it comes to saving the planet, even small steps can add up to big changes. Use Earth Day as a time for reflection on the best ways to make lasting contributions to conserve the planet. When we all do our part to take action and spread awareness, we can impact climate change and have a positive effect on the state of the world.
Learn more about how to reduce carbon emissions and waste by using bottleless water coolers to create a more sustainable workplace.