By Katja Schroeder, Expedition PR
Wake up, it’s Earth Day. Marketers started drumming up support for Earth Day campaigns weeks ago. It’s not too late to participate. There will be a large number of local and virtual events – organized by government agencies, non-profits and corporation – that you can take part in to show your support for protecting our planet. In some cases, participation can be as easy as a hitting the ‘like’ button on Facebook. However, considering that we are facing a number of serious environmental issues, take a moment to consider how you can support the issues closest to your heart or home and make your participation count on the long run. Here are five ways to participate.
Make a difference not just on Earth Day
1. Take a pledge to support an Earth Day campaign
The Earth Day website lists a number of campaigns for which you can make a pledge. Topics range from eating less meat, start composting, stop using disposable plastic to reducing energy consumption and lowering our carbon footprint. Some of the campaigns require changing our own consumption pattern, others rally support for better legislation to protect the environment. One of the featured campaigns on the Earth Day site is “Support Environmental Education”. You can sign a petition to Congress to include funding environmental education in the federal budget planning for 2015.
To date, over one billion people have made a pledge to campaigns on the Earth Day site. The goal is to double this number of supporters to 2 billion. By making a pledge today, you can make a difference for an importance cause.
2. Help capture earth sounds
Help scientist Bryan Pijanowski capture the sounds of the world on Earth Day with his Soundscape Recorder smartphone app. Download the app and record a few minutes of your everyday surroundings using the smartphone app. As reported by Wired, Pijanowski will stitch together the sonic snippets of all participants to create an unprecedented soundtrack to life on Earth. Furthermore, as he accumulates sounds, year after year, scientists could use the sounds to measure patterns and changes in our sonic environments. It’s a pretty cool way to document our surrounding. Read more about the Global Soundscapes Project here.
3. Participate in an Earth Day Twitter Chat
Take a search on Twitter using the hashtag #EarthDay to get a glance at the various types of Twitter chats happening today. Participating in a Twitter chat is a great way to listen to and participate in discussions around environmental topics. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a chat on one of my favorite topics – climate change.
Here is the Twitter invite:
US EPA Research It’s #EarthDay! Let’s talk abt #climatechange: join our 2pmEDT twitter chat. Got #science Qs? Use #AskEPA http://1.usa.gov/ZJ4dEy
To participate, sign into your own Twitter account shortly before the chat starts and use the Twitter chat hashtag to follow the discussion. You can submit a question on the topic using hashtag #ActOnClimate. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still follow the chat by going to twitter.com/epalive when the chat begins. For more details, see EPA’s instructions here.
4. Participate at an Earth Day event in your city
Earth Day is packed with events, ranging from large commercial festivals to internal corporate events. In New York City, NYC Parks combined Arbor Day and Earth Day initiatives and offers hikes and tree planting sessions across the City’s five boroughs. Public Earth Day events will take place at high-traffic areas, such as Union Square and Grand Central Station. New York is also the location of the annual Green Festival, America’s Largest and Longest-Running Sustainability and Green Living trade show. It’s a giant educational forum and showcase for green products and services, including household, food, beauty, transportation, travel and wellness products.
5. Involve your company in a campaign that goes beyond Earth Day
Chances are that your company already has a good CSR or sustainability strategy in place. However, the strategy only comes to live through the employees who spearhead and support the initiatives, and it needs constant ‘’feeding”. This is your opportunity. Use Earth Day to brainstorm ideas with your colleagues about ways to make a difference as a team and company on the long run.
Small and large companies can make a difference, not just on Earth Day. It starts with identifying an initiative that helps to protect resources and sets concrete goals, such as reducing energy, waste or water usage. Take some time at Earth Day to think about initiative that you – and your company can drive – that will make a bigger and better impact on the long run.