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Empowering Environmentalists On Earth Day

Demystifying 'Environmentalists' and empowering everyday people to play our part by living and working in a more environmentally responsible way

I've been collecting stories from 'environmentalists' for some time in the hope that some time soon they will become a podcast! So, what better day to stop putting it off than Earth Day! Obviously 'Earth Day' is everyday, it is our one home which contains all we could ever need for our species (and others) to thrive - if we just look after it.

Earth Day is an annual event which was started in 1970 to demonstrate support for protecting the environment.  Every year there is a different theme and this year it is Planet vs Plastics, with the organisation calling for a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040.  To find out more, learn about what you can do to help and to sign up to the Global Plastic Treaty please click here.

Of course, reducing single use plastics is something we at Empowering Environmentalism totally support. Many of the organisations that we work with are taking positive steps to find more environmentally responsible alternatives, and it is an easy way to get on board with your journey on the environmental movement. If you start looking at why and how (unneccessary) plastics are used in daily life, your eyes are often opened to other ways in which changes for the better can be made. Small shifts can make a big difference, and simply being intentional with your choices and actions forms the basis of what is needed to transition the way we live and work to a more sustainable and regenerative model.

Making changes, both at home and at work can feel really challenging - we are most certainly creatures of habit! Transitioning to a greener workplace can come with limitations and barriers and in a system where we are under pressure to produce results in such a limited time, it can often feel like there is no room to squeeze anything else in. No matter how important planetary health is (and it really is, for all sorts of social, health, wellbeing, financial and environmental reasons!) there needs to be a really good incentive to add yet another thing to the 'to do' list.

So, here at 'Empowering Environmentalism' we are here to support those to make changes and take action that won't always require extra time or money, but will help you, as an entrepreneur or business leader, to integrate a new way of working that is better for the health of our planet in times when we are challenged by the intensifying effects of the climate and nature crisis. Needless to say, it becomes a whole lot easier once people are engaged and involved in the process and co-create a method of changing working habits for the better.  Improving employee engagement is something we often get asked to help with and we’ve found that getting key members of your team to take part in a workshop focussing on environmental action is a great way to start, simply because it encourages useful discussions and stimulates ideas. After all, your team are the ones that know the organisation the best!

The next step is to co-create a sustainability action plan.  It is best to focus on the positive effects small/easy actions can have when applying a low effort, high impact approach.

  • Waste

  • Energy

  • Supply Chains

  • Community

  • Nature

  • Communications

Each area must include short, as well as longer term goals.  Remember the goals should always be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-bound). Staff members can then volunteer to take on responsibility for a goal that they feel is relevant and suitable for them. Completing the task will give employees an enormous sense of satisfaction and they can be justifiably proud of contributing to the future wellbeing of their company. More often than not, small goals will lead to opportunities for making larger, more impactful changes.  

Making obvious and simple changes like cutting down on waste, turning off computers and lights when they aren’t needed or being used, changing energy suppliers and becoming paperless will not only make an operation more sustainable but will also significantly cut costs.  

To keep employees motivated beyond achieving their assigned goals make sure you communicate their successes.  It is important everyone in the company is made aware of the changes and any cost cutting, savings or other noticeable differences that result from them.  

There are all sorts of fun, interactive ways to keep staff on-board and proactive on your organisation’s journey to becoming more planet-friendly.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Organise volunteering days to help the local community 

  • Support local charities that are doing positive things for the environment

  • Celebrate achieving your sustainable goals with a special company Awards evening 

  • Create a garden and grow vegetables and flowers for the office

  • Organise a car sharing initiative

  • Encourage biking or walking to work

Also, make use of the media by publicising your sustainable achievements.  This will give your company and staff a well deserved “pat on the back” while at the same time it will hopefully encourage other businesses to make similar changes and has the added benefit of raising your company's profile. 

I find it very uplifting to hear that so many companies are taking positive action and with a continued increase in consumer demand for environmentally friendly products I am hopeful that when we celebrate Earth Day again in 2025 there will have been a significant shift in attitude and many of the current barriers to becoming more sustainable will have been removed.  

Please explore our website, and get in touch to start the conversation to see how we might be able to support you best - we work hard to make our services accessible and can easily tailor our offerings to your budget. We love hearing from people, and have even collected stories from others in our podcast; 'Empowering Environmentalists' which launches today! Have a listen on Spotify today as we demistify what it means to be an environmentalist and empower everyday people to take positive action for a healthier, better planet using their unique skills and approaches. Environmentalists come in a surprising array of forms. Let's remember that, as Jane Goodall (Primatologist) once said:

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

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