Get Ready for Earth Day
Earth Day is almost upon us (it’s this Thursday, April 22nd). What plans do you have for your company? There are things you can do both in your hotel and in your offices to raise awareness among your guests and your team.
For starters, check out the Earth Day 2010 Action Center website for ideas and inspiration. Events will be held all over the world. Also consider implementing one or more of these ideas:
- Ask your staff to join you in reducing emissions by coming to work on public transportation or to carpool for the day. Better yet, you can bike to work. During lunch, you can discuss the experience of using an alternative means of transportation. Is this something people would be willing to do on a daily basis? Two or three times a week? Maybe just once a week?
- Plant a tree (or plant). If you’ve got a hotel, you probably have green areas around the buildings. This may be true for your offices, as well. Get together staff (if possible, non-maintenance/landscaping staff) to plant as many (native) trees as you can find space for. If your offices aren’t surrounded by landscaping that you can add to with new trees, bring in new houseplants to the office.
- Hold a special edition Earth Hour in the office. Turn off everything that requires electricity, and get some low-tech work done. Take advantage of this time to have meetings, brainstorms, or other non-computer activities. Can you apply this to your hotel, as well? Consider asking guests to participate in your own private Earth Hour and go lights-out for just 60 minutes in the evening. You could hold a (candlelit) talk in the restaurant or bar, serve green drinks (organic iced teas or natural juices), and discuss ways to improve sustainability in our lives.
- Show an eco-minded documentary in the office or at the hotel for staff and guests.
- If your hotel is on the beach, get together both staff and guests to do a major beach-cleanup. If you’re located near a natural park, ask officials if you can bring in a small group of staff and guests to do a cleanup.
- Put together a special staff lunch for the day that only uses local foods. If you can restrict it further to include only organic and seasonal fruits and veggies, that’s an even better option. Consider how difficult (or not) it was to prepare just one meal with local/organic/seasonal foods. Is this something you can incorporate into your daily food preparation for all (or at least a great majority) of your meals? Can you easily reorganize your current menu around local/organic/seasonal foods?
- Hold a contest for staff members to identify one thing that could be changed to improve sustainability in your company in each of the following areas: Community, Energy & Emissions, Water, Waste Management, and Food & Beverage. Leave them open space to come up with additional ideas.Create a plan to implement all of the viable suggestions in a timely manner, and find alternatives to ideas that cannot be implemented exactly as suggested. Offer a sustainability-minded prize for the best solutions, and highlight the winners on your corporate website.
- If you’re feeling brave, and are open to suggestions, hold a contest for all hotel guests to identify one thing that could be changed to improve sustainability in your company in each of the following areas: Community, Energy & Emissions, Water, Waste Management, and Food & Beverage. Leave them open space to come up with additional ideas. Create a plan to implement all of the viable suggestions in a timely manner, and find alternatives to ideas that cannot be implemented exactly as suggested. Offer a sustainability-minded, travel-related prize for the best solutions (or, better yet, a return stay for free at your hotel), and highlight the winners on your hotel’s website.
Take advantage of April 22nd to engage your guests and your team of workers in coming up with new ideas to be sustainable. This can be the day to jump start your new sustainability plan for the company.
What is your company doing to celebrate Earth Day 2010? Can you think of any other ideas?