Celebrate Earth Day With These Eco-Friendly Business Options

April 22nd marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. The holiday strives to raise public awareness about climate change and pollution and encourage communities to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Nearly one billion people celebrate Earth Day all over the world. You can join their cause with these Earth Day-inspired, eco-friendly business options

How Earth Day Became A Holiday

Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator, was frustrated by the lack of environmental concern amongst his colleagues. He wanted to educate the public about the perils of pollution and inspire climate activism. He held the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. 

The initial holiday was a success. Later that same year, President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and a host of climate protections were passed by Congress. The first Earth Day was celebrated by 20 million Americans. Nelson’s impact is still present today with more than one billion people celebrating Earth Day across the globe. 

Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint

There are several ways your small business can carry on the climate-conscious work Senator Nelson started. As Earth Day approaches, begin thinking of ways to reduce your carbon footprint. 

According to Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, humans have put 100ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere in the last 60 years.

As if that isn’t reason enough to inspire a reduction in your carbon emissions, consider this recent Nielsen finding: 66% of customers are willing to pay a higher price for sustainable products.  

An Environmentally-Conscious Case Study

If you’re not sure how to get started with your sustainability plan, H&M’s strategy should spark some inspiration. As a leading clothing retailer, H&M has found unique ways to encourage their customers to partake in their eco-conscious initiatives. 

The company has placed high-tech recycling bins in many of its stores to encourage eco-friendly fashion practices. Customers can drop off clothing from any brand and the company will repurpose the textiles and make them into new H&M clothing. 

H&M incentivises customers to participate by placing QR codes on the recycling bins. Anytime a customer makes a clothing donation, a QR code is flashed on the bin’s screen and customers can scan it to unlock a 15% discount on their next purchase. 

You don’t have to be a multinational corporation to reduce your business’ environmental impact. By 2022, it is projected that 5.3 billion QR coupons will be redeemed. You can follow H&M’s lead and print QR code coupons on your menus or in-store brochures. Use this eco-friendly option to reduce your use of paper products or incentivize customers to recycle plastics, donate old clothing, or volunteer with a local environmental project. 

Promote Sustainable Shopping

Invite your customers to participate in your Earth Day activities by promoting eco-friendly products and services! Use banners and stickers to show customers which products are locally sourced, compostable, or ethically produced. 

Offer customers discounts for using their own reusable shopping bags. After all, Americans use 100 billion plastic shopping bags per year and those plastic bags take 12 million barrels of oil to produce – that’s a staggering amount of waste! 

Reducing your use of paper is just as important as reducing your plastic consumption. Give customers the option to have a receipt emailed or texted to them rather than printing it out. Not only will this save you money, but it makes it easier for customers to keep track of their purchases and provides you with the opportunity to create digital touchpoints. 

Eco-Friendly Advertising Options

Advertising is a main focus for many small businesses and rightfully so. You may be surprised to learn that eco-friendly marketing materials exist to help you boost your sales while bettering the planet. 

Until recently, most banners were made using derivatives of plastic. Since the invention of plastic in the 19th century, the world has produced over 9 billion tons of plastic and 6.3 billion of those tons now pollute the world’s oceans. 

Leveraging QR codes for your brochures and order forms are great choices. You could even replace your signage with sustainable options. Eco-friendly banners are not only cost effective but highly durable. PVC-free banners are a great way to reduce some of your plastic dependency. 

This sustainable signage delivers the same vibrant print quality as traditional options but with a smaller carbon footprint. Eliminating PVC in your signage is an impactful, cost-effective way to reduce your overall plastic consumption! 

Host An Earth Day Event

COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop you from celebrating Earth Day. Hosting a virtual event is a great way to safely involve your community in sustainability initiatives. 

Tutorials for DIY compost bins are on-brand options for hardware or lawn care businesses to highlight their products and how they benefit the environment. Spas and salons can demonstrate how to use their organic products. You could even find environmental groups and local ecology professors to lead webinars on climate change and teach your customers how they can each combat climate change.

Hosting a volunteer event is another fantastic option! Use this website to find environmentally-friendly volunteer opportunities near you. Offer discounts to customers who participate in your volunteer event to encourage community involvement. You could even reach out to local chapters of environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, and sponsor a percentage night to raise funds for their programs. 

On April 22nd, make the pledge to do your part to restore the planet. Offer sustainable shopping options, opt for eco-friendly advertising items, and partner with environmental groups to get your community involved. 

There are so many eco-friendly options your business can use to celebrate Earth Day this year! 

References

14 Earth Day Facts You Should Know

Reader’s Digest

https://www.rd.com/list/earth-day-statistics/

The state of the climate in 2021

BBC

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210108-where-we-are-on-climate-change-in-five-charts

THE SUSTAINABILITY IMPERATIVE NEW INSIGHTS ON CONSUMER EXPECTATION

Nielsen

https://www.nielsen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/04/Global20Sustainability20Report_October202015.pdf

QR Codes And Sustainability: An Environment-Friendly Move

Scanova

https://scanova.io/blog/qr-codes-and-sustainability/

Will QR Code Still be Trending in 2021?

Asset Infinity

https://www.assetinfinity.com/blog/reason-behind-qr-code-trends

Bags by the Numbers

WM Waste Management 

http://www.wmnorthwest.com/guidelines/plasticvspaper.htm

2050 More plastic than fish in world’s oceans

The World Counts

https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/oceans/plastic-in-the-ocean/story

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