What brings over a billion people worldwide to work together? Earth Day – it’s our planet’s very own holiday!
Earth Day’s Inception & Growth
Thursday, April 22, events and celebrations will be happening globally in celebration of Earth Day. Designed as an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental challenges, Earth Day was launched in the United States on April 22, 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson. At the time, there was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act or no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment. Senator Nelson created Earth Day as a way to force these issues onto the national agenda.The first Earth Day was an instant success with 20 million participants.
Twenty years later, the campaign spread internationally. In 1990, demonstrations mobilized 200 million people in 141 countries. Today, “International Mother Earth Day” as the United Nations named it, has grown exponentially, encompassing an international following of over a billion people.
Earth Day is currently one of the most widely celebrated secular holidays in the world.
Ways of making a difference
Each year on April 22, individuals, families, companies, and organizations allocate time to collect garbage, plant trees, reduce waste, clean up rivers, create educational videos, sign petitions, march, as well as a host of other environmental initiatives.
Throughout the past five decades, Earth Day has inspired real change. On Earth Day in 2011, Afghanistan planted 28 million trees during a “Plant Trees Not Bombs” campaign. The following year, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution created by cars, more than 100,000 people committed to forego cars and ride their bikes in China.
Proactive corporations and governments often use Earth Day to announce sustainability measures and pledges to support the environment.
Earth Day 2021 events will be mostly virtual due to the global COVID-19 pandemic with the exception of small group cleanups or individual efforts. With the added virtual component, new movements have emerged including communities hosting Virtual Clean Ups as well as one of the latest fitness trends called Plogging, the clean-up-as-you-jog effort to keep the earth clean. In addition, efforts are being made to offer innovative education, skills, and research to teach and bring awareness to people to care for the great outdoors.
How you can be a part of the change
One of the best ways to get involved with making Earth a better place is through cleanups! Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any garbage like plastic bottles or wrappers. At Zennify, several members of our Boise team are planning to participate in the upcoming Boise River clean-up. Our staff will walk along the banks and remove waste that has washed up alongside the beautiful Idaho river. Over the course of the past few years, both our Boise and Sacramento offices have implemented sustainability efforts internally at each office including the use of eco-friendly products.
Earth Day is a great time to consider launching your own company’s drives to taking care of the planet. This is a great opportunity to focus on restoring natural processes, utilizing emerging green technologies, and implement innovative thinking.
5 Sustainability Ideas for the Workplace or Home Office
Go green! Earth Day is a strong catalyst for bringing awareness to caring about the planet’s health. Modern lifestyles can warrant a very wasteful way of living that has detrimental effects on our Earth. Here are 5 simple steps to becoming more earth-friendly at work or at a home office:
- Start a sustainability team for your office
- At Zennify, we created ZennEarth which is a team of like-minded individuals striving for ways in which they can make a difference in preserving the planet. Videos and blogs have been created offering staff ideas on composting, using eco-friendly materials, and more!
- Create monthly green challenges
- Friendly competitions are what brings a fun spin to any workplace. Create a specific Slack or Teams channel for monthly challenges. See who can go the entire month without using plastic ziploc bags or who can give up their car one day a week. Award coffee gift cards or small prizes to winners!
- Turn off electronics and lighting every night
- Be conscious of electricity usage throughout the work day. Switch off lights in unused rooms like meeting rooms and restrooms. In the office, make sure whoever is the last to leave turns off all lighting and that the heating or air conditioning is set at a regular level. Make natural lighting a regular part of your day when possible.
- Use a desk plant
- Bring the outdoors inside. Since plants produce more oxygen, they can offset chemicals released into the air by new office furniture and overall make a cleaner, happier space for your people to work in.
- Go paperless
- Did you know that printed documents contribute to 90% of all office waste in the US? It’s 2021, we need to be digital. It’s easy to keep digital files on your computers and mobile devices.
Earth Day 2021 Theme
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore our Earth” which is intended to be a reminder that while we want to protect our planet, we all also need a healthy Earth to support our lives, health, and survival.
Take a minute to be grateful for this planet and the amazing natural resources we’ve benefited from thus far. Earth Day is a great way to jumpstart a lifetime of taking better care of our planet.
Let’s all take better care of our planet and make every day earth day!