Earth Day, formally celebrated on April 22, has morphed into an entire month of much due celebration, special events and green-themed rollouts. The origins of the earth-honoring bash can be traced back to former Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson and his desire to increase consciousness about pollution. Since its first celebration in 1970, we have moved simultaneously towards more hopeful and more alarming environmental outcomes.
Whether you are the lead of your office’s sustainability committee or just starting to take action in your workplace or community towards greener ends, we know that getting everybody on board with sustainable lifestyle choices can be touchy. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of how to go about planning Earth Day (or Earth Month) festivities that will help raise consciousness about the environment without raising stress levels to astronomical heights.
There are so many ways to celebrate Earth Day, but there might not be a celebration at all if you don’t plan ahead. This is your gentle reminder to start. As an enterprise dedicated to sustainability, we get dozens of requests for Earth Day events and often we have to decline because they come without enough notice. If you’d like to work with us, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP
Earth Day falls on a Saturday this year.
Do with this information what you will. Depending on your workplace environment, this may be perfect or this may be prohibitive.
April is a busy month.
As much as any month can be busy, April is busy in a chaotic “spring is finally here” sort of way. Keep your expectations in check when planning your event.
Lead by example.
If you want to celebrate Earth Day with others in your workplace or community, an invitation to celebrate can be as simple as: “Hi everybody, this is your formal invitation to join me on Earth Day as I go to (insert place) to pick up trash.” Even if people choose not to attend, they might just be inspired by your actions and want to celebrate in their own way and that’s great too.
Start a new initiative.
Earth Day can be a celebration, but it can also be a doorway into new ways of greener living year round. If your co-workers recycling habits have gotten you down lately or you are looking to launch a composting program, Earth Day may just be your gateway into change. Start sending emails or having conversations to get your idea off the ground and into action.
Let people meet you where they are.
Yes, living green is important! But is it important to everyone at this very moment? Sorry to say, no. And it won’t be if you take Earth Month as an opportunity to scold people for living the way that they do.
Let your curiosity guide you.
Is there a local naturalist that you would love to hear speak? Or perhaps a new documentary that you’ve been itching to watch (We have our eyes on Geographies of Solitude, which is playing at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 14th and 16th). Make it a community event. If you are excited about learning, it will be easy to make others excited about learning too.
There is always next year.
Or next month, or whenever! It’s okay if all you do this year is scheme and plot and celebrate on your own. Earth Day is a state of mind, not a target.