By Maria Valdez Haubrich

How is your business celebrating Earth Day tomorrow? Don’t let the day pass without thinking of a few ways your business can contribute to the green effort. Here are a few tips for small businesses from Emerald Brand, a green online retailer specializing in “tree-free” products.

  1. Offer an incentive for employees who make an eco-friendly commute. Provide a “complimentary vacation day” or “drink on the boss” for employees who ride their bike or take public transport to work on Earth Day.
  2. Talk about Earth “Year.” Use the day as an opportunity to talk with your staff and supervisors about what the office can do to become more eco-friendly over the next year.  From conserving energy, to replacing traditional break room products with eco-friendly substitutes, there are plenty of ways for companies to go green without breaking the budget.
  3. Host an Earth Day pot-luck lunch! Ask your employees to bring in delicious, organic foods to celebrate with.
  4. Take some “outdoor” time on Earth Day. It’s easy to become bogged down with work.  Take a few minutes on Earth Day to go for a walk, take a few deep breaths, and appreciate your surroundings.
  5. Turn off the lights! And the screens, printers, etc.  This will conserve energy when the units are not in use.
  6. Don’t print. Try your best to solely use electronic documents during Earth Day.  But if you must…
  7. Use both sides of paper for printed documents. Why use double the paper, when you can cut your waste in half immediately?  This is a great policy, particularly for internal documents and drafts.
  8. Challenge other businesses in your building to a contest. Who can save the most over a set period of time?  Offer a fun prize (i.e. losing office buys a round for the winners) to celebrate.
  9. Hold an office fundraiser. Pick your favorite environmental cause and work together to make a donation.
  10. Offset your carbon footprint. You get presents on Christmas, right?  Give something back to the environment on Earth Day.