This year, Earth Day is on April 22, 2017. If you are a main street or small business, this is a perfect opportunity to get involved in your community and start building your own business too.
In my world, hundreds of Earth Day Clean Up projects are going on this weekend. Oregon is known for it’s “first of a kind” bottle bill so we have a reputation to uphold to clean up the environment. But I bet, they are well over a thousand, Earth Day Clean Up activities taking place all over the country this weekend. I’ve included a few links to organizers in Oregon, California and Washington, but all it takes is a quick Google or Facebook search to find another pile in yours!
Promote your business while making a world of difference. Take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising, still the best way to market your business. Volunteers that hear and see your business participating in Earth Day activities will spread the word about the wonderful experience, that you helped provide, while they helped the environment!
There are so many ways to get involved in Earth Day neighborhood activities, here are just a couple.
Become a partner to make the activity a success. Offer your business as a place to meet. If you are a restaurant, coffee shop, bar or hotel that has event space already, it’s a no-brainer to offer your space to organizing groups. Retail goods and service businesses, manufacturing or other businesses can also offer space for groups to meet and plan their events. In most cases, you do not have to be on a committee to offer your space for meetings. Offer you’re space as a point of contact for the activity on event day or beforehand. Your business can distribute fliers, posters or other materials about the event. On Clean Up day, volunteers will come to your address to check in before heading out for the cleanup.
You will be well thought of, and well-remembered, if you provide coffee and donuts! Any type of refreshment before an event should be low-fuss and with a mind toward environmental sustainability. Buy recyclable paper cups for drinks, buy local delicious snacks, and provide minimally packaged treats. After the clean up, most volunteers are pretty hungry so a substantial snack, with protein, would be greatly appreciated.
Just about every activity that you participate in will give you the opportunity to market your business. If you are allowed, add your business name, and logo, to fliers or distributed materials. Make a special coupon, for the fabulous volunteers, and if you’re feeling flush, giveaway SWAG (Stuff We All Get), to all participants. Bee sure to include your name, logo, address or any relevant info on your giveaway.
Another way to be involved in Earth Day activities is to sponsor them. Talk to activity organizers, determine what their needs are, and support them to the best of your abilities. Most organizations especially appreciate cash, which is king, for most events. Your sponsorship could also be an in-kind donation of equipment needed for smooth operations. For cleanups, organizers need access to garbage dumpsters, garbage bags, litter grabbers, gloves, and possibly rain gear, especially if you live in Oregon! Talk to the community groups early in the process to be able to supply the right materials that are needed by cleanup crews. Offer prizes to incentivize people to sign up!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Make it easy for organizers to use your logo, or name, on promotional materials. Send your logo as a .png, .eps or .jpg file as soon as possible. The sooner you get your logo to organizers, the sooner they will be able to use it. Be flexible. Plans do change and the weather may dictate alternative routes, or cause issues beyond anyone’s control. Have fun! Be sure to be present and have fun during the clean up. You don’t have to don your rubber boots, just keep positive, helpful and very polite to those who are donating their most valuable commodity, time.
Of course, these ideas hold true for any annual event.Find out what’s going on in your community and get involved to build a supportive community around your business.
Alberta Operation Clean Sweep – Earth Day Clean Up, April 22, 10am – 2pm, on Alberta Street in Portland, OR
Oregon Solve It for Earth Day – 101 Clean Ups! from Albany to Woodburn, and every city in between.
Washington Coast Savers – Cleanups on April 29 (due to tides) has projects all along the west coast of the state.
WA State, Montgomery County – April 22, 9am – 4pm
2017 Great Islands Clean Up, San Juan Islands, WA State, April 22, 9am-noon
Earth Day Restoration & Clean Up – 42 California State Parks, April 22,
Save Our Shores Earth Day – 12 Santa Cruz and Monterey County beaches, April 22