Best Practices in HR

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Robyn Whalen
  April 20, 2018

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Boost Employee Wellness

Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22nd. Although Earth Day lands on a weekend this year, there’s no reason not to celebrate it all workweek long! Earth Day is an excellent time to learn about how environmental factors affect employee health and wellness.

Employers can utilize Earth Day to help employees appreciate nature and get more involved in their community. We think it’s a great idea for employers to start some earth-friendly wellness initiatives for the week of April 23rd -27th. Doing so will inspire employees to take better care of their surrounding environment and spend more time outdoors.

Below are 10 ideas to help you celebrate Earth Day at your company while also boosting employee wellness:

Start a company garden. A company garden is a fun way to get employees outside and help them relieve some stress. Gardening can also be an excellent source of physical activity. While creating a company garden might sound difficult, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think! We love our company garden here at TotalWellness, and we created a free how-to guide based on our experiences to help you get started. 

Host a waste-free potluck. Most employees love a good potluck! Host an Earth Day themed potluck that’s waste-free. This means no disposable plates or utensils. Ask participating employees to bring in their own reusable plates and silverware from home and ask them to bring a dish to share that doesn’t need to be microwaved. Think fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, cold wraps, sandwiches, healthy dips, and frozen yogurt. Be sure to also provide pitchers for drinks, rather than having employees bring in individual, disposable plastic soda and water bottles.

Go for a company walk. Going outside for a company walk once a day is an excellent way to celebrate nature and get your employees moving more. Even just 10 minutes in nature can help relieve some stress and improve moods. Send out an email blast with a time for employees to meet if they choose to participate in the group walk.

Do some outdoor cleanup. Chances are, your office probably has a bit of litter in the parking lot, walkways, or other outdoor areas. Assemble a team of volunteers to help clean up trash around the building for about 10-15 minutes each day of the week. It’s an easy way to help employees spend more time outdoors and provides an opportunity for social engagement.

Set up new recycling stations. If your office isn’t already recycling, now is the perfect time to get started! Many offices have a few recycle bins hiding around the building, but employees might not be using them. Use this week to educate your workforce about the importance of recycling, and set up more recycling stations that are visible to employees.

Start green initiatives. Your company can’t expect employees to start going green if their employer isn’t! If you don’t currently have any initiatives in place to promote a more eco-friendly office, now is the perfect time to get started. Consider shifting to a paperless environment, replacing standard or incandescent light bulbs, and use products and services by green providers. Check out this helpful article for even more ideas. 

Add plants. Plants are more than just beautiful décor. Indoor plants can help reduce workplace stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Research found that indoor plants also reduce 87% of indoor air pollutants in 24 hours. Adding plants throughout the office with help promote a healthy workplace environment while also boosting employee wellness.

Start a new challenge. Use Earth Day to launch a new wellness challenge! Help employees go green by challenging them to recycle more, use less plastic, or use less water. Reward employees who participate and complete these challenges. 

Promote responsible travel. Challenge employees to rethink their commute to work for the week. Reward employees who bike, walk, or carpool to work.

Take the pledge. Have your company take the Billion Acts of Green pledge. Your company can get involved by helping to eliminate plastic waste, planting a tree, or reducing your carbon footprint.

While it might not seem like Earth Day directly correlates to employee wellness, it’s important to understand how much environmental factors can impact a healthy and happy lifestyle. Instead of skipping out on Earth Day this year, celebrate the importance of a healthy outdoor and indoor environment to inspire positive change in both your company and employees’ habits.

How are you planning on celebrating Earth Day this year? Comment below!

Like this blog post? Share it with your employees or co-workers with this printable version of the blog!

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