Earth Day 2020, April 21. While this year is anything but ordinary, there is no reason not to celebrate Earth Day, perhaps this is an even greater reason to celebrate it.
Each year on Earth Day we are all reminded of the large impact that environmental health plays are on our wellness. That is not to say the rest of the year these things don't play a role however this is one day to take the time and remember and hopefully put these into practice for the rest of the year.
Studies show that employees are sensitive to their environment and even perform better when they have an environment that makes them feel at ease, per the Mayo Clinic (2018). With this in mind here are our top tips to improve the environmental health and wellness of employees for 2020!
1.) Provide recycling stations for employees
If you do not already have one, a designated recycling area for employees to dispose of recyclable materials. This is a great time to remind employees where these are in the office. Market them and highlight them to increase usage.
2.) Promote the use of recycled products in the office
When ordering products and essentials, ordering reusable materials and recycled products such as paper and others can cut down on waste associated with production.
3.) Develop a strategy to reduce waste (trash, electricity, water, etc)
Examining the current environmental strategy in terms of electricity usage, water, etc. This can be a good time to examine the use of censors to cut out lights when a room is not in use, placing signs to remind people to turn off water and lights, changing out old equipment for newer more efficient equipment.
4.) Provide reusable materials for employees in break rooms such as coffee mugs, cutlery, and other kitchen-ware. Also provide snacks and food options avoiding throw away products for single serving usage such as k-cups and snack packs
Ensuring that when employees are at work they have waste reducing products to decrease the companies foot print can truly help. Ex: buying coffee in a large container versus in k-cups.
5.) Provide whole clean foods for employee events
Clean and whole foods reduce the impact that we leave on the environment and also promote a health employee and thus the workforce.
6.) Encourage eco-friendly commuting and walking break times
Promoting and putting out incentives that encourage employees to take time to walk or bike outside, take classes for exercise during break times, or commute together or via public transit can really improve wellness and decrease our foot print.
7.) Hold meetings outside when possible
Holding meetings outside can help employees recharge, decrease pressures, and improving creativity.
8.) Add plants to the office
Indoor plants can help reduce anxiety, stress, and fatigue and decrease indoor air pollutants.
9.) Start a workplace community garden
A community garden is an effective way to reduce workplace stress and employee well-being. This is also a great way to improve nutrition choices if employees are growing foods they can actually take home and eat.
10.) Do some outdoor clean up/volunteer work as a team
This is a great bonding activity and encourages social behavior among co-workers. This can also be a great way to give back to the community and improve environmental health and wellness.