Earth Day is an opportunity to honor our most precious asset and serves as a reminder of the very real responsibility we have to protect our planet — a planet that is in dire need of help. The sad thing is that many companies don’t take the chance to take part in Earth Day. While St. Patrick’s Day is enough to warrant a big party, Earth Day for many companies isn’t important enough to get a company-wide email.
Deven Patten thinks it’s time to give Earth Day the respect it deserves. Patten, who serves as the Director of Sustainability at Young Living Essential Oils, made Earth Day a company-wide holiday in 2019, with more than 2,000 employees participating in over 30 service projects to help the environment.
Patten says that while it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of pollution and damage inflicted on our planet daily, company-sponsored Earth Day projects make it easy for people to participate while allowing people to see the power in numbers. After all, it’s much easier to see the difference in cleaning a beach with 100 employees makes instead of just one. And employees genuinely enjoy these activities: They greatly prefer bonding with their co-workers over trees instead of spreadsheets. They love contributing to the betterment of their communities and seeing immediate results. There’s even evidence that playing in the dirt genuinely improves mood, which can help your employees feel better and can encourage them to keep getting outside.
Patten also reminds us that from a business perspective, it’s great for visibility with customers and the community as it shows both where your company’s priorities are at. It might be too late to make Earth Day a company holiday in 2020, but now you have all the time to get ready for 2021’s edition.